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10 Things You Should Know About The University Fees Report

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Yesterday saw Jacob Zuma finally release the Heher Commission report, and the 752-page report didn’t exactly cut any corners.

The commission was assembled to “look into the feasibility of scrapping fees at higher education institutions”, but we’re not about to go digging through the report ourselves.

Luckily the Sowetan have distilled the recommendations down to some bite-sized nuggets, so let’s look at their 10 biggest takeaways:

1. It recommends that government increase its expenditure on higher education and training to at least 1% of GDP.

2. It recommends that the National Student Aid Financial Scheme (NSFAS) be replaced by an Income Contingent Loan System (ICL).

3. It recommends the total scrapping of registration fees across the board.

4. The report proposes the establishment of an education fund to which companies can donate.

5. It suggests that all TVET college students receive a fully subsidised education.

6. That all TVET students receive a stipend.

7. The report recommends that a cost-sharing model for funding of university students be adopted.

8. That long unclaimed pension fund benefits be used to provide stability for the ICL system.

9. A ministerial task team be established by the Minister of Education to advise him on funding for the poor and missing middle.

10. And that universities raise funds from their alumni.

One thing it makes pretty clear – free education isn’t tenable for an economy like ours, especially at this moment in time. Here’s a statement contained in the report:

The Commission respectfully advises the President that a stand taken at the outset that university students should accept the common sense and inevitability of paying for what they receive if and when they can afford to do so would be politic and responsible and very much in favour of future generations who enter the higher education system.

In other words, JZ really can’t just go ahead and declare that he’s going to make tertiary education free to those who cannot afford it.

Oh, except that’s what he looks to be doing anyway.

Here’s Fin24:

The issue of free higher education, that is being steamrolled by Zuma, has pushed [budget head Michael] Sachs, a Treasury veteran of ten years, to resign.

“Michael [below] didn’t necessarily oppose the idea of free education, but he wouldn’t stand for the interference in the budget process,” a source said.

Zuma’s plan to find R40bn within the constrained budget to fund a free-education policy for families who earn less than R350 000 comes amid changes to the budget process, where National Treasury’s role in keeping a lid on government spending and finding the best ways to grow the economy has taken a back seat to the Presidential Fiscal Committee (PFC).

Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka believes the PFC – which comprises a much smaller committee – has removed Treasury’s crucial fiscal oversight…

“It is no longer a function of National Treasury. That function has been outsourced to Zuma and that is absolutely terrifying,” she said at the Cape Town Press Club in October.

Then there’s the other shocker that emerged yesterday, outing the man behind SA’s new plan for free higher education as a spy at the State Security Agency (SSA).

Here’s News24:

Mukovhe Morris Masutha [below], who had dated President Jacob Zuma’s daughter and was a prominent leader in the Fees Must Fall (FMF) campaign, was listed as an employee of the SSA during his time as a student activist at Wits University.

…Masutha is behind a plan for free education which would fly in the face of the Heher Commission’s findings that South Africa cannot afford blanket free higher education

Zapiro, as is often the case, has his finger on the pulse. Here’s his cartoon over on the Daily Maverick:

The train rolls on.

[sources:sowetan&fin24&news24]

This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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