It is necessary that the 2017 varsity fees increase. SA universities will be forced to retrench and shut down certain operations if the nation maintain a 0% fee increase, infers the Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande.
Mr Blade was commenting on a report containing the recommendations for 2017 fee adjustment. He received the report from the Council on Higher Education last week.
Nzimande remarked that further consultations will be undertaken before decision is taken on the issue. Nevertheless, he hinted that it’s impossible to maintain a 0% fee increase.
The minister pointed out that the feeling of the students are being considered. But then, added that the viability of the institutions ought to be considered as well.
According to him, the management of the universities have raised concern over retrenchments if there are no fee increase in 2017 varsity fees.
“The universities have the issue of the implications of whatever action we take in relation to this matter.
That was why we were in discussion and sharing the report. The report itself does point out that what would be the consequences of the fee increase across the board.
Some of our institutions are at a very precarious position, so we have to take into account all that. We are looking at all these things,” he stated.
Meanwhile, BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that student organisations have started various mobilizations to kick against possible fee increase.
Likewise, universities are making preparation for the fee increase announcement. They’ve reportedly, beefed up security and approached SAPS for help.
Reacting to insinuations that the government has already made a pronouncement on the 2017 varsity fees, Minister Blade asserted that the government is still gathering further views before making any pronouncement.
“Given the competing views on fee adjustments, it is indeed imperative that we get as broad a consensus as possible regarding 2017 fees,” he said.
“The false claims that 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,” Blade added.