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6% varsity fee cap ‘a band aid’

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As student groups around the country rejected yesterday’s offer of fee increases capped at 6%, the DA has called the offer nothing more than a band aid solution that does nothing to address the chronic underfunding of institutions of higher education.
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande yesterday met with university vice-chancellors and proposed capping fee increases at 6%.
But Belinda Bozzoli, Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training, says these measures also donte address the R51-billion shortfall in NSFAS funding.
“Minister Nzimande conceded that funding for higher education is suffering as a result of public funds being lost to corruption and mismanagement in government,” she states. “Until we deal decisively with these problems, universities, and ultimately students, will continue to suffer as a result.
“The DA urges Minister Nene to use the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) to announce a significant increase to funding for both NSFAS and institutions of higher education. Government must prioritise further education as a matter of urgency.
“Now more than ever we need strong leadership from government and a commitment to ensuring that qualifying students are empowered with the opportunity to pursue post-school education. We cannot tolerate the financial exclusion of young people and the effect his has on their chance to pursue a life of value.”