‘Drop fees at TVET col­leges’

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By BIANCA CAPAZORIO

● The He­her Com­mis­sion has rec­om­mended that all stu­dents at tech­ni­cal, vo­ca­tional, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing col­leges re­ceive free ed­u­ca­tion and univer­sity stu­dents get govern­ment-backed loans they would need to re­pay only when they start earn­ing above a spe­cific in­come.

The com­mis­sion was es­tab­lished in Jan­uary last year to in­ves­ti­gate the fea­si­bil­ity of fee-free univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion fol­low­ing wide­spread #FeesMustFall stu­dent protests.

The re­port was fi­nalised in Au­gust and the Pres­i­dency re­leased its contents on Mon­day. The re­port’s main rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude:

❍ That all stu­dents at TVET col­leges re­ceive free ed­u­ca­tion in the form of grants;

❍ That “all stu­dents, re­gard­less of their back­ground”, at uni­ver­si­ties be funded via a sys­tem of in­come-con­tin­gent loans, made through com­mer­cial banks. The stu­dents would make re­pay­ments only once they had reached a spe­cific in­come level;

❍ The Na­tional Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Sys­tem be re­placed by such in­come­con­tin­gent loans;

❍ The govern­ment in­crease its block fund­ing to higher ed­u­ca­tion as a whole‚ so as to reach at least 1% of GDP; and

❍ That regis­tra­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion fees be scrapped en­tirely.

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