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Tue May 31 07:57:19 SAST 2016

Zuma announces inquiry into higher education funding

TMG Digital | 14 January, 2016 12:24
STpicfees-31-12-2015-10-12-04-117-.jpg
#FeesMustFall protesters. File photo.
Image by: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday appointed a former judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal to chair a “commission of inquiry into higher education funding and other issues”.

Honourable Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher will be assisted by advocate Gregory Ally and Leah Khumalo‚ the Presidency said.

It said “Ally was admitted to the bar in 1990” and described Khumalo as “a practising attorney and is a founder and director of Mngoma–Mlaba Khuloa Inc”‚ but made no mention of her serving on the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

A statement said the commission had its genesis in the October 23 meeting between Zuma and “vice-chancellors‚ chairpersons of university councils‚ presidents of student representative councils and the representatives of student organisations to discuss concerns with regard to fee increases and funding of higher education”.

That meeting was called in the midst of the #FeesMustFall campaign which paralysed university activities last year and led Zuma to announce a 0% fees hike.

“The president announced thereafter that government would lead a process that will look at broader issues affecting the funding of higher education‚ cognisant of other endeavours in this regard‚” it said.

The commission will be tasked with probing “the multiple facets of financial sustainability‚ analysing and assessing the role of government together with its agencies‚ students‚ institutions‚ business sector and employers in funding higher education and training”; and “the institutional independence and autonomy which should occur vis a vis the financial funding model”.

It will have eight months to complete its work‚ and then another two months after that to submit its findings to Zuma.

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