Stall on Fees Commission Report causing tuition hike frustrations

University students are still waiting for President Jacob Zuma to release the Fees Commission Report into the feasibility of free tertiary education.

Students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) protested outside Parliament on Wednesday demanding answers on fees increases in the coming year.

UCT SRC secretary general, Sinawo Thambo, says they have been sitting in various financial committee meetings and the university has shown them how it has been operating on a deficit.

He says the university has been planning to make up for the deficit by proposing to increase fees by 8-10%

We as SRC have rejected that proposal saying that it is not fair that the students have to foot the bill so that the institution can balance the books.

Sinawo Thambo, UCT SRC Secretary General

We have been crying for the past two to three years for free education for all and that its a principle that we all must adapt.

Sinawo Thambo, UCT SRC Secretary General

Having an increment of 8-10% will be going against this principle and also undermines the Fees Commission Report that was currently completed. How then do the institutions decide on the fees increase outside receiving the report which might be contradicted?

Sinawo Thambo, UCT SRC Secretary General

UCT's spokesperson, Elijah Moholola says the SRC is saying that the university is planning on increasing fees in 2018 by between 8-10% is inaccurate. He says UCT has not yet decided on 2018 fees as yet.

The reason we have not taken any decision on fees at this stage is because we are awaiting the Fees Commission Report. Without that report, there is no way that an institution can come out and say we are increasing fees.

Elijah Moholola, Communication manager at UCT

According to Moholola the discussions that were held between the university and the SRC centred around painting an accurate picture around higher education. He says for the institution to operate smoothly it needs funding which comes from three sources, two of them being student fees.

To hear more of this interviews, listen below:


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