We're trying to shield poor from increases - UCT

2015-10-19 10:50
Students protest at UCT. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

Students protest at UCT. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – The University of Cape Town is trying to protect its poorer students from fee increases, the institution said on Monday.

The families of its largest group of students had no income, and would get financial aid of up to R100 000 while only paying about R1 250 themselves, acting Vice Chancellor Francis Petersen said in a statement.

This covered tuition, accommodation, food, and books.

UCT students began blocking entrances to the institution on Monday morning, in protest against a planned 10.3% increase. Petersen urged protesters to respect the rights of those who wanted to continue studying.

The Students’ Representative Council participated in the budgetary analysis and understood the need for an 11% increase. It supported a compromise proposal of 10.3%, which council accepted at its September meeting, Petersen said.  
For the last few years, UCT’s block grant from government had increased by about 3% annually.

Average costs, largely due to inflation, including salary increases, had increased by 7% to 8%.

The institution raised about R200m to R300m from corporates, alumni and foundations. Together with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme it generated about R500m annually to help poor students.
It offered financial help from the NSFAS and gap funding for those who did not qualify for the scheme.

Petersen said they were fortunate that most of their students could afford the fees, and so the government subsidy that would have been allocated to them went to the poorer students.  

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  university fees

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