Durban – Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Sunday said he was concerned about students threatening to shut down universities countrywide amid 2017 university fee talks. Nzimande in a statement called for calm while the government continued to deliberate on next year’s fees. He said he had noted with concern threats to shut down the country's universities, amid false claims that the government had recommended a fee increase for the 2017 academic year.The minister said the government was yet to pronounce itself on university fee adjustments for 2017. “The correct position is that after I received the report of the Council on Higher Education on their recommendation for 2017 fee adjustments last Thursday, I decided to gather further views and suggestions from all stakeholders, including students and university councils, before proceeding with any announcement on the matter.“Given the competing views on fee adjustments, it is indeed imperative that we get as broad a consensus as possible regarding 2017 fees. The false claims that the government has already pronounced itself on the matter are thus not only mischievous, but highly prejudicial to the delicate stakeholder engagements that are taking place,” said Nzimande. The minister said he would continue to consult the Cabinet to ensure a long lasting solution. News24 reported on Friday that student leaders countrywide said they would not accept a fee increase in 2017. Nzimande was expected to make the fees announcement, but the briefing was cancelled with his spokesperson telling the media that the minister still wanted to consult further before making his announcement.