Fears universities will limit admission of poor students to curb protests

2016-12-23 16:02
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Higher Education Transformation Network (HETN) fears that some universities may purposefully admit fewer disadvantaged matriculants who rely on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) as a way to prevent more student protests from breaking out. 

The network said in a statement on Friday: "With a view towards ensuring as minimal student protests as possible, some institutions of higher learning are nefariously planning to selectively admit as few as possible from poor disadvantaged matriculants who rely on Nsfas funding.

"We accordingly warn that should errant [vice chancellors] be left to their own devices, the above admission practices will result in student admission pockets based on social class and further serve to entrench discriminative social trends in higher education."

The HETN also said while it noted the 2017 fee increments by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Stellenbosch University, it was worried that the two institutions failed to explain what internal cost-saving measures were planned to curb more fee increments in 2018. 

"We are concerned at the fee announcements by the institutions without any emphasis on clear plans in terms of which student access measures are planned for implementation by the universities to favour the admission of more academically deserving poor black disadvantaged youths from rural disadvantaged backgrounds who fall within and below the missing middle."

Call for central admissions portal

It predicted that comparatively, more affluent institutions such as Wits and Stellenbosch University, which it said had historically been able to amass more reserves than other poorer institutions, were planning to continue with their traditionally-skewed student admission practices.

The network called on the government to compel all state-funded institutions of higher learning to adhere to a "common central admissions portal to ensure a more coherent student admission policy implementation regime that ensures that traditionally affluent institutions do not continue to exclusively target students from the 'cream of the crop' households but also admit more academically deserving students from poor rural disadvantaged backgrounds".

Wits earlier this month announced its fee increase will be limited to an average of 8% for the 2017 academic year, with only some postgraduate programmes set to exceed 8% in increases.

In September, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande announced that university fees may not exceed an 8% increase in response to mass student protests against fees.

Nzimande also promised that households with an income of less than R600 000 per annum would not be affected by the fee increases.

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  johannesburg  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.