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SA needs to find more money to fund poor, deserving students

File Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency

File Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency

Published Oct 15, 2018

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Is free higher education to the poor feasible? Is free tertiary education to needy and deserving students feasible in the current economic climate in South Africa?

Minister Naledi Pandor stated in April that payments to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme for needy students would increase from its current R9.8billion to R35.3bn in 2020/2021.

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Bursaries were only offered to first year students at tertiary institutions this year.

In 2019, the first years hopefully would have progressed to second year, with a new cohort arriving at the gates of these institutions.

This implies that the budget would most probably more than double considering an inflationary annual fee increase of say 6%, which will require the financial allocation to NSFAS to be increased to more than R20bn.

Where will the money come from?

Especially if one considers that the South African Revenue Service failed to collect more than R50bn in tax revenue in the last financial year.

* Adiel Ismail, Mountview.

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**  The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media

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