Fee increases should not be carried by poor students - DA

2016-09-05 13:22

Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance has called on President Jacob Zuma to help ensure university fee increases do not affect poor students.

The DA’s Belinda Bozzoli said the party welcomed the reported acknowledgement by the Department of Higher Education that universities were autonomous and had legal rights and duties to determine their own fees for 2017.

City Press on Sunday reported that the higher education department had decided to allow tertiary institutions to determine their own fee increases for next year.

The fee increase, however, should not be carried by poor students, Bozzoli said on Monday.

"We, therefore, call on President Zuma to urgently make available the R2.5bn it will take to assist students with the 8% increase. We believe this amount can be found by reprioritising existing budgets and by getting our spending priorities right."

Universities were facing an uphill financial battle, she said, with no end in sight.

"Tertiary institutions are responsible for creating new generations of skilled labour, and the longer this crisis continues, the more damage we are compounding to our future economy."

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