Universities Agree To Fee Compact For 2021
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 1:20pm
The Department of Higher Education has reached an agreement with universities to keep fees at an affordable rate for 2021.
Minister Blade Nzimande said this fee compact will also ensure that universities remain financially stable this year.
However, the department is not able to guarantee a 0% fee increase for 2021.
“Fee consultations take place at institutional level. In addition, student leaders are represented on university councils, where budgeting and fee decisions are taken.
“Institutions have to remain financially sustainable in order to meet their operational commitments and their academic responsibilities,”
This was Minister Nzimande's response to a letter of demands from the South African Union of Students (SAUS).
The Minister was responding to a request to ensure that fees do not increase this year.
"Given the difficult fiscal situation, all government departments, including the Department of Higher Education and Training have been subject to budget reductions in 2020 and 2021. I am aware that many institutions are doing what they can to assist students in need, and to allow them to make payment arrangements to be able to register, where this is possible. However, institutions also have to remain financially sustainable in order to continue to operate effectively, and financial decisions are made at the level of university councils."
He said government will continue to remain committed to providing funding to NSFAS qualifying students, despite not being able to provide free education to all students.
"I acknowledge that the demand for student funding is significant. Government has committed to providing fully subsidized support to students from poor and working class backgrounds and has been doing so since 2018 through the NSFAS."
Students who have applied for NSFAS funding will receive feedback about their applications when soon.
Institutions have also given students until the end of this week to register.