UCT hopes government will subsdise shortfall to avoid fee increase

There's been confusion around who makes decisions on fees increases in South Africa, following protests by university students demanding that there should be 0% increase on fees.

According to Dr Max Price, Vice Chancellor at UCT, the law states that universities determine their own fees. The Minister of Education currently has no power to do so, he says.

One of the considerations of the judicial commission is whether to give the Minister power in future to regulate fees ...

Dr Max Price, UCT Vice-Chancellor

Price says the reason for university councils to hold back on fee increases, is that government has been hinting it will give universities money to make up the difference.

He says normally, by August-September the council is already making decisions for the following year's fees.

If the government comes up with an increase of about 6-8% on top of a budget they normally give us, then that will allow us to increase the fees by much less - or maybe not at all

Dr Max Price, UCT Vice-Chancellor

Although they haven't finished their negotiations with the students, they do require an 8% increase for 2017 in order to stay afloat.

He says they're hoping government will come up with enough money, so that poor students won't have to face any increases.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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