It’s not possible huh? Government has been doing all it could to fund higher education and has even exceeded its budget for higher education funding right?
Well, the Democratic Alliance (DA) party says it has uncovered some R120 billion under-funding scheme.
According to the party, it received “disturbing new information” which detailed a R120 billion shortfall in funding for higher education over the next three years.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the ” disturbing new information” was supplied to the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education this morning.
That was in response to Belinda Bozzoli – DA’s Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training – request after the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) admitted to the committee that it could not achieve its goals at the current funding level.
While Bozzoli indicated that the funding shortfall was created by President Zuma’s promise to fund all fee increases for 2016, and some of the increase for 2017; She divulged that she’ll write to the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, to demand a full breakdown of additional funding shortfall.
“It is vital that we know how much has been allocated to each institution, and on what basis that allocation was made.
The figures outline the shortfall in funding to universities, TVET colleges and community education over the next three years. The ambitious targets in each of these arenas cannot be met.
This is the amount of funding needed by DHET in order to fulfil the basic directives from the President and the Minister, as well as the objectives outlined in the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (PSET).
But there is further cause for alarm as the R120 billion shortfall does not take into account the promise made by the Minister and the President that 2017 fee increases for students from families earning less than R600 000 would be funded by the state.”
Adding that Wits decision to increas fees by 8% was because they didn’t receive all the funding promised from last year’s announcement that the state would cover 2016 increases, the Shadow Minister lamented about the steady under-funding of the sector.
“The root cause of the fees crisis, as well as of chronic failures in the TVET sector and the complete failure of the Community College sector to get off the ground at all, has been the steady under-funding of the Higher Education sector by the ANC government.
“The President and Minister continue to make promises that they simply cannot keep, yet the universities are left to deal with the consequences and protestors,” she wailed.
Above all, she charged Mr Nzimande to develop a realistic and transparent plan to address the Higher Education funding crisis. To her, all he’s been doing is lurching from one emergency to the next.