Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
29 Oct 2017
8:51 am

Government cannot afford free tertiary education for all, Heher commission finds – report

Citizen Reporter

Fees will not fall as the Heher commission report has found that SA cannot afford to implement a system where tertiary education is entirely free.

While President Jacob Zuma is still mulling over the fees report which he received over a year ago after establishing a commission to investigate if SA can afford to give free tertiary education, the report has been leaked and is in the possession of City Press.

Zuma appointed the commission – chaired by Judge Arthur Heher, assisted by advocate Gregory Ally and Leah Thembisile Khumalo – on January 14, 2016.

Zuma had received the final report from the commission on August 30, 2017. The presidency had been “working on the report” since the date it was received.

The report has apparently found that government and the Department of Higher Education should take several steps to ensure that education becomes more accessible through a myriad of factors. None of these factors however, will include allowing students to study at public universities at no cost.

“The consultations with relevant ministries is at an advanced stage and it is expected that it will be finalised during the course of next week. The president will release the report immediately thereafter,” presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.

The report recommends that there should be no registration fees for students, those studying at Technical Vocational Education and Training  (TVET) colleges should be assisted by enabling them to study at no cost based on their backgrounds, the government should invest 1 percent of the total GDP in universities thereby creating a cost sharing system and subsidising universities and implementing an income contingent loan where based on graduates jobs and salaries, they pay back study loans according to how much they earn.

The report also suggested that R50 billion from the Unemployment Insurance Fund be set aside for spending on the TVET sector and unclaimed pension benefits be used to stabilise the ICL system.

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