Minister Blade Nzimande briefs Parliament on University Fee increases for 2017

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education welcomes the initiative taken by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, to brief the Committee on the advice received from the Council of Higher Education (CHE) to address the challenge of university fees for 2017.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Connie September, said consideration needs to be given to create lasting stability at institutions of higher education.

"As yet, no decision has been taken on university fee increases and thus there is no need to threaten closing institutions of higher learning. We call on all stakeholders in the sector to collectively work towards consensus to improve education for all," Ms September said.

"The Committee notes the advice received from CHE, but further consultations are still being undertaken, including with the National Treasury. Solutions arising from these consultations should allay uncertainty, but also should not disadvantage the poorest of the poor," Ms September said.

Minister Nzimande came to brief the Committee on Wednesday on the progress being made on fee increases for the 2017 academic year. He revealed that the CHE had indicated that if the 0% fee increases continued, about 19 universities will become dysfunctional in 2018, and that if increases were to be based on CPI, about 10 universities will be rendered dysfunctional.

The Chairperson said the Committee will look to supplement the work that the Department is doing. She also voiced satisfaction with the regulatory framework being mooted for fees in the future.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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