Free higher education to be phased in over five years: Mkhize

04 January 2018 - 15:38 By Sipho Mabena
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Only prospective students who have been offered a place to study at a tertiary institution will be considered for the fully subsidised education announced by President Jacob Zuma in December‚ higher education minister Hlengiwe Mkhize has said.

Briefing the media in Pretoria on Thursday‚ the minister said this higher education funding policy‚ which would be phased in over a five-year period‚ extends the provision of higher education and training to the children of the bottom 90% of SA households provided they meet the academic admission criteria and requirements of tertiary institutions.

The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command said on Thursday that they don’t want to cause any disruption to the registration process in universities, but reiterated that all students who do not...

She said consideration for funding would only be for those “that have applied for and been offered a place to study at the institution; noting that there are defined number of spaces at each institution determined by the institution’s approved enrolment plan”.

The minister said government will be providing full bursaries for tuition and study materials to qualifying poor and working class students at public TVET colleges and universities but said subsidies for accommodation or transport will be capped at specific levels for those who qualify‚ starting with first time entry students in 2018.

Mkhize said the phasing in of this policy would allow government to gradually phase in fully subsidised free higher education for eligible poor and working class students on a year-on-year basis in a fiscally sustainable manner.

“In line with government’s commitment to opening up access to opportunities for students in the post-school education and training system‚ the department (of higher education) remains committed to the egalitarian principles of equality‚ fairness‚ justice and diversity‚” she said.