UCT's wealthy to help poor

30 October 2015 - 02:14 By Aarti J Narsee

Wealthier parents are offering to pay the fees for students who cannot afford their studies. University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Max Price said yesterday many parents of wealthier students had come forward to help fund the shortfall created by the freeze on fee increases."We've received many offers from parents of wealthier students who acknowledge that they can afford and are willing to pay increases so others can have better-quality education," said Price.He briefed the media yesterday following nationwide protests by students calling for free tertiary education.Price said the consequences of the 0% fee increase for 2016, following the #FeesMustFall campaign, were "significant and severe".He said while he hadn't thought through all the details, an account would be set up and parents would be able to make tax-free donations to contribute to the fee shortfall.With this funding, individual student bursaries and financial aid would be awarded on "the basis of need", he said.In addition to parents, alumni and corporates would also come on board to assist through donations.While these were stop-gaps, Price said there was no concrete solution yet for long-term funding."We need to protect the poor. those who can afford these increases must pay. For me it means we cannot support the call for free university education for all but for only the poor," he said.This echoes what Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande told Parliament's higher education and training portfolio committee on Wednesday. He said the government's policy was to provide free education for only the poor.Price also said the university was "committed to insourcing", and six outsourced services would now be insourced.Meanwhile Wits University, which has been operational for the past two days, has obtained an interdict to allow the police on to the premises should there be disruptions.The university said the interdict was not to stop students from protesting but to protect staff and students from intimidation.

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