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Cost of tertiary education and admission to institutions a big challenge for most SA students

Access to higher education funding a crisis. Image : supplied

Access to higher education funding a crisis. Image : supplied

Published Jan 31, 2022

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Kwanele Magwaca

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Most countries consider education to be one of the main keys for unlocking and realising the potential of tomorrow's adults, and South Africa is no different. In fact, the number of world-class tertiary institutions registered in South Africa is testament to the magnitude of its importance in society.

The cost of a year’s tertiary education can be daunting for any household, let alone single-parent households, which are very common in South Africa. According to figures published in October 2021, the estimated cost of an undergraduate degree at Stellenbosch University, for example, is R44 940 for a BCom; R64 974 for a BSc Engineering; R54 501 for a BA Law; and, R48 037 for a BA in human resources management.

At the University of Cape Town, residence fees are about R35 000, transport will cost an estimated R7 500; a living allowance, R15 000; and, books about R5 200. Excluding academic fees, the total is well north of R60 600.

According to a report issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) late last year, the cumulative national student debt is about R14bn. While tertiary institutions rely heavily on student tuition fees to generate revenue, there is a section of the 26 registered higher education institutions' budgets that is supported – in the form of grants – by the DHET.

There are, however, many of these 26 registered institutions that have remained relevant with the job market after qualification, some employing innovative and creative marketing measures to get students to sign up to further their studies. Many colleges and universities have become recognised for trademark or specific courses, or for industry-focused study courses.

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TSIBA Business School offers advanced technology and a learning environment with the latest Cloud-based technology enhanced through interactive mediums. The institution is perfect for those wanting to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate business qualifications. With three qualification models, they cater to students looking to further their career in the business world.

“Supported by generous tuition scholarships this enables students to contribute towards their tuition at relative levels of affordability,” says Kwanele Magwaca, spokesperson at TSIBA Business School.

Bursaries, partial funding, and sponsorships have become fundamentally essential in households under financial pressure, where aspiring young minds seek to improve their financial and living environment.

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To solve the first challenge, students can utilise TSIBA’s tuition calculator designed for aspiring students, who are still in the dark in terms of where their tuition monies will come from or whether or not they can still get into an institution. The tuition calculator helps students gauge what they could qualify for based on their academic merit marks and family household income.

As the pandemic has had a ripple effect on financial stability in many households, this has effected students’ ability to firm up the administration and gain placement at tertiary institutions. It’s peak season for tertiary institutions, but this doesn’t help students who are still struggling to get placed, as applications for the current academic year closed last year.

“TSIBA registrations are still open and will offer late registration for students up until mid-March. Thus allowing students to align their budgets after cash-strapped January,” Magwaca said..

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