Poor students can't access universities - MP

2013-02-13 19:25

Cape Town - Poor, academically deserving students continue to be excluded from universities because of their financial position, the chairperson of Parliament's portfolio committee on higher education Ishmael Malale, said on Wednesday.

"The debate, it's about access, the continued elitist thinking about education in our country while we continue to fund these institutions," Malale said, after higher education department officials briefed the committee on the enrolment process at universities and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.

Over a quarter million students have been enrolled at FET colleges, while registration at universities was still ongoing.

Higher education director general Gwebunkundla Qonde, told MPs government had succeeded in improving access to education through increased allocations to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the National Skills Fund.

The allocation for FET colleges in 2010 was R310m, which increased to R1.7bn last year. The 2013 allocation stood at just under R2bn.

Qonde said while the increases were substantial they were not enough to provide bursaries to all poor, deserving students.

"If you come to universities you actually get confronted with the same picture of huge increases that have been made available by government into the system. Are they sufficient?

"No. Are they substantially huge? Yes," Qonde said.

Malale and his fellow MPs were, however, not convinced.

They said there were still too many cases of poor children who had excelled at school being excluded from higher learning institutions because they could not pay for tuition.

"The billions [of rand] which the state contributes to higher education indicates commitment to expand the system, but somebody in the system, because they've got power, they are using this power in a manner that is unsympathetic to our strategic imperatives," said Malale.

MPs said no child who was performing well academically should be excluded from universities and FET colleges.

Qonde said the department was working hard to attend to the biggest hurdles to access, which included funding and insufficient infrastructure.

"Our infrastructure is finding it difficult to cope with demand, in as much as NSFAS is not able to cover each and every student..."

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-02-13 19:59

    Solution is simple. If government puts their money where their mouth is and increases funding, then more talented children can attend universities. Decrease of keep funding the same and there is just not enough to help everyone.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-02-13 20:07

    . EDITOR, I am not into conspiracies !!!! But what is going on between you and Tokyo Swexwale. Are you on his payrole ??? If that is true, you are not a journalist, but a corrupt swine !!! In the last few years, I made various negative comments about this Sexwale thug, and each time, for no apparent reason, they get deleted !! Last Saurday, you had a weak story about some minister and billionaire going through a divorce, but no names mentioned!! Sunday, when Sunday newspapers splashed Toky and Judy Sexwale's name on their front pages, from news24 ==NOTHING==Not one single word !!! Since than a few other weak stories.........BUT, Now this evening, no one can post a comment on these stories, ""directly"" , as with any other story!!! but , the Moderator,FIRST has to approve of the comment. NO OTHER ARTICLE HAS THIS !!!! You OWE the readers and commentators on your site, an explanation !!!!

      Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:28

      All my posts on the same subject was deleted as well. Join the club Anthony

  • roelfensusanne.mare - 2013-02-13 20:19

    What is happening with those students who failed twice? Are they still enrolled at the universities and funded by bursaries?

      Sheilan.Clarke - 2013-02-14 08:56

      The thing is, if you're there on a bursary, you HAVE to excel otherwise you lose the funding. That's how it's supposed to be but you never know in this country.

  • etienne.labuschagne.7 - 2013-02-13 20:25

    This is absolute nonsense. I worked as a waiter to pay for my studies and never received a cent from anyone - people are just too lazy and want other people to solve their problems.

      cynthia.biljoen - 2013-02-13 23:47


      Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:33

      Indeed Etienne, the young of today all want to start at the top, earn 50k a month, drive a German car and not do any work for it. I call it the Malema syndrome. They live in a dream Only once in about ten years did we had a guy coming to our factory looking for cars to wash (own bucket and soap, cloth the works, at R20.00 a piece)He is a supervisor at our factory today. Respect

  • colleen.erasmus.7 - 2013-02-13 20:25

    My parents never had the money to send me to college or varsity, I had to go and work and I have worked all my life!

      cynthia.biljoen - 2013-02-13 23:47

      Me too.

  • kiritle.maila - 2013-02-13 20:37

    ill like 2 noe which varsity is tat ?? If is TUT I bet he is lying n at varsity if u are a senior student they can help u if u reach some difficulties

  • jennifer.nda - 2013-02-13 20:40

    i'm one of those students who dropped out of university bcos nfsas.

  • mista.brown1 - 2013-02-14 00:35

    education is the great equalizer of the conditions of people, it is life itself, more schools, increased intake in health sciences, science, engineering, commerce, etc is needed. professors and some selfish academic achievers are against the government when it sends deserving students to tanzania, cuba, etc. at the same time they are not willing to be part of the solution.educate the masses and prisons will be closed.there will be no need to to live in cage like compounds in the name of safety.

      Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:39

      Mista, I was brought up poor. Never had money for studies and worked 18hrs a day, 7 days a week when I had to. Saved for everything that I wanted and do not owe anyone today. Never ever in my poorest days did I resort to theft, murder and rape because I was poor. That sickness of thieving, raping and murdering needs to be addressed on another level as well, not only by education. Although we have a lot of crime in this country done by zimbos, why, do you think they don't dare to do the same crapp back at home?

  • del.pearson.98 - 2013-02-14 01:58

    The poor have never been able to afford university fees even in the apartheid years.

      Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:39

      How, because we couldn't?

  • piet.boerie - 2013-02-14 05:09

    So nothing has changed since I was a laaitjie. Yes dear comrade during Aparthied University was not free for whites. We lower income earners during aparthied faced the same problem but what is worse is now it is supposed to be equal. But instead we are supposed to be liberated but the same rich kids and now the rich parents and the system is still the same, even after so called liberation.

      Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:41

      Added to that Piet, we have a system of discrimination against white kids when they try to enrol at our local universities.

  • pws69 - 2013-02-14 07:02

    You can see it is an election next year with the type of rhetoric being spewed. In five years we will hear the same speech. They have no intention of fixing the problem. If they did, we would have more universities by now. Access to universities is limited by the following factors: Too few places (build more universities) Terrible level of education at Matric (schooling must be of a higher standard) Funding AA against white, indian and coloured students (7 distinctions does not guarantee you a place in certain fields - see point 1 to fix that as well).

  • pws69 - 2013-02-14 07:05

    It must also be noted that NSFAS regularly under allocate their budget to student loans by tens of millions. The entire admin process is flawed, and efficiency non existent. Two years ago over R40 million was not given to deserving students.

  • Saamprater - 2013-02-14 07:27

    This is an age old story. Hundreds of millions of whites could not go study because of the same reason. No money, no bursary. We had to enter the marketplace, starting at the bottom of the food-chain and gradually work our way up whilst doing some studies and gaining experience. Today my experience have allowed me to survive (twice the victim of BEE) I was forced to create my own employment, and if it was not for my hard earned experience, gained over many years I would've ended in one of the white shacktowns that grows on the borders of our cities. So, why can't the young of today not start there as well? (that is if money for studies aren't there)

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-02-14 08:04

    The "poor academically deserving students" ? Why not say straight away " the poor black" students? We know that, that is actually what it is all about!

  • AceOfSpades - 2013-02-14 08:36

    True, I have a C-aggregate degree and may not proceed due to lack of funds. I would like to end up with a Masters at least. With that said, Im working on it

  • Sheilan.Clarke - 2013-02-14 08:54

    But fewer matrics these days are qualified to go to university. If you excel at high school, no bank would not wanna give you a loan to go to university.

  • june.francis.526 - 2013-02-14 09:44

    DEAR GOVT , If you increase the marks of disadvantaged children to booster the matric pass rate you do these children a dis service because then when they get to university they fail their competency test. That is why poor kids cannot get into university. So stop lying. There are also plenty of Busaries around - Sasol advertises every day on the radio. There is also nothing wrong with working and studing. There are other alternatives besides university like, colledges and technikons also GOVT can pay for kids in their 1st year and then they can apply for student loans there after. My husband studied through student loans during the days of apartheid nothing has changed since then . So the dis advantaged should find solutions and not problems. There are many solutions to a problem - Just think outside the box.

      AceOfSpades - 2013-02-14 11:34

      I like your humour

  • nawhal.majietarmien - 2013-02-14 12:05

    the money that was spent on Nkandla should have been spent on our future generations education

  • charl.c.christensen - 2013-02-14 23:05

    I had to get student loans for both my kids. I did apply fot NSFAS but was declined cause I'm too "rich". So I'm paying tax to support the thousands on state funding, and my kids will have to repay study loans once they start working. Where's the justice?

  • pages:
  • 1