A National Business Institution Statement to Fees Must Fall Protests
SACCI Media Release
Friday, 23 October 2015
INCREASES IN UNIVERSITY FEES
In a statement issued today, the President of the South African chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), Mr Vusi Khumalo, said:
Business is concerned by student protests regarding proposed university fee increases and the call for free tertiary education that take place under constraining demands on the fiscus for free basic education, access to health services, the provision of free basic water and electricity supply, reduction in crime levels and increasing social security needs.
The call for corporate South Africa to fund university education comes when companies are “feeling the pinch” as a result of the global downturn and low economic growth in South Africa. Nevertheless, a large number of bursaries and scholarships are available. The website bursaries-southafrica.co.za lists more than one hundred institutions that offer bursaries which cover all areas of academic interest. Many companies are also assisting staff members with funding for the education of their children. State owned enterprises such as Telkom, Eskom and Transnet offer hundreds of bursaries.
SACCI believes that the issue is greater than fees. Statistics reveal that one in four students graduate in regulation time (for example, three years for a three-year degree) and 55% of the intake never graduate. This has an impact on the cost of education. It is therefore necessary to identify and rectify the causes of the high dropout rate. Universities would be key in such a dialogue.
Operational costs incurred in maintaining a level of global recognition of the degrees awarded must be considered when determining fees including technology and teaching aids and cost of recruiting and retaining appropriately qualified teaching staff.
SACCI sympathises with the students and commends government for its interventions. However, it believes that a solution can be found if dialogue and negotiations between the social partners – government, business, labour, community and academia – takes place as a matter of urgency.
Contact: SACCI President Mr Vusi Khumalo ( 083 307 0127 )
SACCI COO Mrs Peggy Drodskie ( 082 562 7087 )
Kind Regards Tshidi Moatshe
SACCI Communications South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)
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