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MPs to visit ECape colleges, universities

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parliament jan 28

GCIS

File photo: GCIS

Parliament - MPs are set to visit universities and FET colleges in the Eastern Cape, Parliament's higher education portfolio committee announced on Tuesday.

“Members will meet various stakeholders, including the management, labour unions and student representatives,” committee chairman Ishmael Malale said in a statement.

The meetings would focus on issues including financial assistance, registration, transformation, and infrastructure, he said.

There have been protests at campuses around the country over the past fortnight, with students demonstrating over a funding shortage at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Last week, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said his department had made an extra R1 billion available to the NSFAS.

“(My) department has made available an additional amount of R1bn, sourced from the National Skills Fund, to all universities to cover the 2013 and 2014 shortfall,” he said at the time.

The minister called on protesting students not to damage property or disrupt lectures.

On Tuesday, Malale welcomed interventions by Nzimande's department.

“However, this contribution is not to placate protesters but an expression of our determination of progressive realisation of free quality higher education for the working class and the poor.”

He urged institutions to commit to improved throughput rates, and for students to show a culture of learning, research and academic excellence.

“(We are) hopeful that the recent financial injection of R1bn to the NSFAS budget will finally bring stability to the learning and teaching activities across the country's universities and further education and training colleges,” he said. - Sapa


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