Nearly all Fort Hare students exempt from fee increases
Most of the University of Fort Hare's students will not have to pay for fee increases for 2017 as "almost 100%" of its students fall within the range that qualifies for the announced government subsidy.
In a statement‚ Vice Chancellor Dr Mvuyo Tom said the announcement by Higher Education minister Blade Nzimande on Monday - that students who are currently studying through the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and those whose parents earn less than R600 000 a year will be exempt from fee increases in 2017 – would benefit most UFH students.
"The basic interpretation of the statement from the Minister when it comes to the University of Fort hare is that the fees for students will remain as they were in 2015 and the [Higher Education department] will subsidise the university for whatever the university council shall determine as the required funds to compensate for the zero fee increase‚" Tom said.
"This is exactly what happened in 2016. The University of Fort Hare has almost 100% of its students falling between the NSFAS and missing middle categories”.
Tom further advised students to go back to class as they had already lost time during last week and this week's stay-aways.
On Monday‚ Nzimande announced that‚ all NSFAS qualifying students‚ as well as the so-called 'missing middle' – students whose families earn above the NSFAS threshold but who are unable to afford higher education for their children - would experience no fee increase in 2017.
"Government will pay for the fee adjustment. This will bring huge relief to nurses‚ teachers‚ police‚ social workers‚ and other parents who work in occupations that do not earn huge salaries‚ and who have children at university. This will apply to students at universities and TVET colleges." Nzimande said.