UCT fee increases 'delayed by Zuma'
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UCT yesterday pleaded with President Jacob Zuma to release, and make public, the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) to allow them to determine the fee hike for the 2018 academic year.
Zuma promised to study the recommendations and make them public, but a month has passed since he received the report.
The commission was established in January 2016 following violent protests at higher learning institutions across the country.
UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price said the university has to plan its 2018 budget and it needed to have consulted with the Students’ Representative Council and other stakeholders on the possible fees increase by September.
“However, not wanting to pre-empt the recommendations of the Fees Commission we have delayed decisions on fees pending the release of the report.”
The Higher Education Transformation Network and the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union have also called on the president to release the report which will shed light on the feasibility of free higher education.
Price said the delay in releasing the report will negatively impact the process of increasing fees.
He said parents and students will not be able to plan financially for the next academic year.
UCT’s allocation of funds from government is expected to increase by 4% in 2018, while costs will increase by 8%.
Price said the expected decline in funding will compromise the “global success and standing of South African higher education”.
Stellenbosch University, the Central University of Technology in the Free State and North West University have initiated talks for 2018 fee increases.