Universities seek way forward regarding fees

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Universities in Cape Town, which have experienced violent student protests, say they await government’s pronouncements on the Fees Commission Report that has been released by President Jacob Zuma.

Several recommendations have been put forward including that students be funded through a cost sharing model of government guaranteed loans by commercial banks.

President Zuma established the Heher Commission in January 2016 to investigate the feasibility of fee free higher education in South Africa. The more than 700 page document was handed to President in August.

“The scrapping of application and registration fees, participation of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme in the funding of students must be replaced by income contingent loans and  that government adopts an affordable plan to develop more student housing.” These are but some of the recommendations made in the much awaited report.

The Acting Vice Chancellor University of the Western Cape, Professor Vievienne Lawack, says it now urgently awaits direction from the Presidency and Department of Higher Education.

“We are very grateful for the fact that the presidency has released the report of course the executive management is examining the report because there is nothing we can do in the interim while we await the advice of the presidency and as to which of those recommendations will be take forward and and which would not be but also very urgently we awaiting direction from the higher education and training because of the fact that we need to do our planning for next year and finalise that.”

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology says the report will help in assisting for planning purposes for 2018. “We have been eagerly participating it for a while already it will allow us to plan for appropriately for the 2018 financial year and our executive should be sitting together as a collective soon to digest the report in its totality,” said the institution’s Lauren Kansley.

Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town says it will take some time for its executives to sift through the detailed report. “We are pleased that the report is out what is happening now is that the executive  is studying. We are looking at the implication for the institution and looking at a implication as higher education a s a whole and deciding then on how we are going to proceed as a whole once the study of the report has been done and concluded we will be able to pronounce further in a more detailed fashion to the contents of the report,” said the University’s Elijah Moholola.

Meanwhile exams are set to kick off at the University of Cape Town, exams are underway at the both the university of the Western Cape and CPUT. Strict security measures have been put in place at the University of Cape Town as a result of disruptions by some students over the past two weeks.