South African government patches holes in student funding regime

Almost 7 billion rand (£310 million) made available to pay for fee freeze and student support

December 22, 2015
Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa
Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa. Source: iStock

An extra 6.9 billion rand (£306 million) will be pumped into South Africa’s higher education system to tackle a student finance crisis which triggered nationwide protests.

President Jacob Zuma said 2.3 billion rand would be allocated to funding the tuition fee freeze for 2016 which was announced in October after widespread demonstrations against proposed increases. The government will contribute around 1.9 billion rand, with universities paying for the rest.

In addition, the government will pay 4.6 billion into the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. This will fund loans to provide short-term debt relief to more than 70,000 students who received insufficient support between 2013 and 2015, and additional support for undergraduates in 2016.

Students in receipt of NSFAS support should not be required to pay for their tuition and registration fees upfront, Mr Zuma said.

The president added that a commission will be set up to look at “the introduction of free higher education to improve access for the children of the poor and the working class”.

A task team set up in the wake of the student protests also recommended that a new system of student loans, involving the private banking sector, must be set up for the “missing middle” undergraduates who are ineligible for government support but still face financial hardship.

“I believe that the recommendations will assist all of us as we pursue our mission to ensure that no poor, academically deserving student is denied access to higher education and training,” Mr Zuma said.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study