Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Zuma releases Fees Commission report

Zuma releases Fees Commission report

No student who qualifies for entry into South Africa's Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should have to pay a cent of their study costs, according to a proposal released on Monday.

The President established the Commission in January 2016, chaired by Honourable Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher, assisted by Adv Gregory Ally and Ms Leah Thabisile Khumalo.

The Heher Commission into the Feasibility of Fee-Free Higher Education and Training has found that there is now no capacity for the state to provide free tertiary education to all students in the country.

The commission also recommended that all students studying at both public and private universities be funded through cost-sharing government-guaranteed loans sourced from commercial banks.

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The Commission recommended that government adopt an affordable plan to develop more student accommodation and that Historically Disadvantaged Institutions be prioritised.

"Should the student fail to reach the required income threshold, government bears the secondary liability".

The Heher commission said should government oppose its recommended model, it would then ask it to consider the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme, an income contingency loan funding model proposed by the ministerial task team on funding for poor, working-class and missing-middle students.

The commission further recommended that application and registration fees be scrapped at all universities.

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The report recommended that funding for higher education and training is increased for "providing quality education and infrastructure needs".

The rand breached R14.50 to the US dollar on Monday morning as news spread internationally of President Jacob Zuma's plan to push through free higher education, reported Fin24.

The Presidency denied the reports, but the currency traded weaker on the rumour and is set to remain under pressure with demand for local bonds waning and bets of higher rates in the United States luring funds away from emerging markets.

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