Higher Education Minister Postpones 2017 University Fee Announcement


Higher Education Department has announced the indefinite postponement of media briefing on university fees for 2017.

This comes as National Treasury weighed in on the issue at the Fees Commission.

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande had been scheduled to brief the media today at the St George’s Hotel in Irene; of his recommendations to university councils regarding possible fee increases for the 2017 academic year; having received the report of the Council on Higher Education on fees in 2017.

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Spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said via a statement that the meeting was postponed to allow for further consultations and that the announcement would be made gathering further views and suggestions.

The minister had earlier met with a very wide range of stakeholders. However consultation with vice chancellor of South African universities; student representatives; the organisation of university council chairpersons; and civil society and political formations are still ongoing.

The minister has been applying a whole bag of tricks to ensure students are not angered over higher education fees; after students under the #FeesMustFall protests shut down higher education institutions in their demand for free higher education for all in 2015.

The #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall campaigns voiced out student’s primary issues which include: economic inequality; slow pace of transformation and high fees.

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BuzzSouthAfrica recalls that in December 2015‚ President Jacob Zuma announced that there will be a no- fee increase this year.

He later set up the Heher Commission of Inquiry [a team tasked with looking into the feasibility of free higher education]; chaired by former Supreme Court of Appeals Judge Jonathan Heher.

Regardless of that, there has been upsurge in demonstrations this year with students; unions and some academic staff vehemently calling for free education and transparent transformation at tertiary institutions.