Promise of free higher education leaves many unanswered questions

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Rhodes University Senior Representative Council (SRC) says President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free higher education for poor and working class leaves many unanswered questions.

President Zuma announced on Saturday that free higher education at public universities will be rolled out for first year students in 2018 and will be phased in over five years.

Outgoing SRC president, Rholihlahla Mabaso says there was not enough engagement before the President made the announcement.

He says: “This would have afforded us the opportunity to ask important questions such as where the money will be coming from, what happens to NSFAS currently, what happens to students that are currently graduating in 2017 that were part of the protest, is the whole education sector being reviewed, all those various questions. But over and above that we welcome the announcement.”

Meanwhile, Rhodes Vice Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela says in a statement that, this will go a long way towards ensuring access to higher education.

He says they will engage further with the Department of Higher Education in terms of how this bold move will be rolled out.