19 universities could become dysfunctional with 0% increase, Parliament hears

Cape Town - Parliament's portfolio committee on higher education has heard that 19 universities could become dysfunctional in 2018 if a 0% fee increase is carried over for a second year.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande told Parliament on Wednesday that a second consecutive fee increase could be devastating.

The Council for Higher Education (CHE) indicated that if the 0% fee increases continued, about 19 universities would become dysfunctional in 2018, Nzimande revealed.

If the increase was to be based on the Consumer Price Index, currently at 6%, about 10 universities would be rendered dysfunctional, he said.

"As yet, no decision has been taken on university fee increases and thus there is no need to threaten closing institutions of higher learning," committee chairperson Connie September said.

“The Committee notes the advice received from the CHE, but further consultations are still being undertaken, including with the National Treasury."

September also voiced satisfaction with the regulatory framework being mooted for fees in the future.

The National Assembly was due to debate fee increases in the House later on Wednesday.

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