Fees Must Rise: Wits Announces Increases For 2017

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It has been confirmed that the University of the Witwatersrand will be increasing fees for the 2017 academic year by an average of 8% for tuition and residence fees.

BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that an 8% increase is also applicable for international student fees and, 9.5% increase for postgraduate programmes run in the Wits School of Governance.

Wit’s Senior Executive Team confirmed this saying the increases are in line with the recommendations made by the state in September this year.

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“The University has no choice but to increase fees if it is to remain financially sustainable as academics and professional and administrative staff need to be remunerated, books and journals need to be purchased (many in foreign currency), utilities need to be paid and infrastructure needs to be maintained.

“In addition, the University will accommodate the costs of insourcing and the new ICT renewal project from 2017,” explained the executive team.

The University offered the table below to reflect the various scenarios it could face if fees are increased at different levels.

Increase Forecast Deficit for 2017
8% R56.5 million
6% R90 Million
0% R191 Million

The Senior Executive Team pointed out that the state compensation for the 0% increase for the 2016 academic year amounted to approximately R146 million.



With that, they related that they’ve been recently informed that the 2016 fee increase will now be rolled into the subsidy.

According to the institution, the net effect of that is that the university’s subsidy increase for 2017 will be only 2.5%. “This equates to a net decline in income of approximately R54 million for 2017 from the state,” Wits buttressed.

The institution further related that the decision on the 2017 fee increase was recommended by management and the Financial Committee (FinCo) of the University and approved by Council after consultation with the elected Students’ Representative Council (SRC).

“The SRC is represented on FinCo and Council and had requested a 0% increase in tuition fees for 2017. Their input was considered and deliberated extensively before the final decision was made,” stated Wits.

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Acknowledging that the fees increase decision will be financially onerous for the families of many students, Wits promised to seek bursaries and scholarships for students.

“We will again endeavour to mobilise resources from the state, the corporate sector and our own funds to assist as many students as is possible in 2017,” vowed the Institution.

The university added that it’s committed to working towards achieving access to quality and free higher education.

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