Another 0% fee increase will mean the beginning of the end for public universities in South Africa, warns Jonathan Jansen, rector of the University of the Free State.
A decision regarding the increase of university fees for 2017 by minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande was expected on Friday, but was postponed.
The department’s spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said the postponement was needed to allow for further consultations.
While experts warn that a 0% fee increase is not sustainable, students have warned that a fee increase will lead to disruptions at universities.
Student leaders say they are not prepared to contemplate any increase.
University of Cape Town student leader Masixole Mlandu said students were ready to take to the streets to ensure they get what they want.
The beginning of the end for South African universities
Jansen warned that another 0% fee increase will mean the beginning of the end for public universities worthy of that name in South Africa.
In a column on Herald Live, Jansen said the public universities are in serious crisis and the public served by these institutions of higher learning better take note.
“If the minister makes an announcement of a fee increase somewhere between 6 and 8%, already far below the actual costs of higher education expenditure in each university, the public higher education institutions will hobble their way into the next academic year,” said Jansen.
“If, as expected, students protest in response to the announcement, as some have promised, shut down the universities and further make 2017 a gap year, then it is over.”