Nzimande dismisses news of intention to raise university fees

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Professor Blade Nzimande, has dismissed as false information that he intends to increase university fees for the 2024 academic year. 

“The minister has become aware of the circulation of false and ill-informed suggestions that he intends to increase university fees for the 2024 academic year. 

University Councils determine fees

“As the department of higher education and training, we wish to remind the public that the minister plays absolutely no role in determining the fees of universities,” read a statement released by the department on Thursday. 

As per the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, the authority to determine the fees of individual universities rests with University Councils. 

“Therefore, the minister has no such authority to determine the individual fees of universities. To do so, would be to act beyond his powers on the part of the minister. 

Minister only provides framework guidance

“However, given the socio-economic reality of our country, through the department, each year, the minister usually provides the universities with a framework that should guide how they determine their fee structure.” 

The department explained that the minister does this with the sole intention of ensuring  how universities determine their fee structures. It’s also to ensure that students are not adversely affected by the fee determinations of universities. This is particularly in reference to students from poor and working-class backgrounds

 “The minister regards [this] as disappointing and somewhat mischievous. [He does not expect] formal organisations and long-standing media houses to make public statements on university fees without first informing themselves …” 

According to the department, it remains committed to sharing information. In particular information that may assist the media, civil society, political organisations. This also includes or members of the public, to understand the intricacies of our country’s higher education system. –

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