Fees must increase? South African university costs set to rise in 2022!

Fees must increase? South African university costs set to rise in 2022!

Troublesome news for existing university students and matriculants who were hoping to get higher education as the department announces a proposed fee increase. Reports reveal that fees are set to rise this year at universities across the country, despite calls for fees to “fall”.
Science and Innovation minister Blade Nzimande confirmed the news in a media briefing while explaining why the price rise is necessary.

University fees set to increase in 2022

Only a few years ago, thousands of students took to the streets to fight against high university and college prices in a campaign they called “Fees Must Fall.”
Years later and it appears their determination to make an education possible for all has led to nothing as the Department of Higher Education just announced a university and college fee increase.
Minister Blade Nzimande confirmed the government’s plans to increase both tuition and accommodation.
The proposal is an increase of 4.23% for tuition fees for the 2022 academic year and a maximum of 6.23% for accommodation at all 26 universities.
During the briefing, Nzimande explained that the increase is necessary to keep up with inflation that has affected not only workers’ salaries but other factors such as electricity, water, and food tariffs.

“Fee increases are necessitated by obvious factors, including the increase in workers’ wages and staff salaries; increase in electricity and water tariffs; rising food prices; books and learning materials, and generally the rise in inflation.”

Rising student debt

The minister also made mentioned the fact that thousands of students have student debt. Unaudited data show that an estimated R6.1 billion was owed by students at the beginning of 2021.

“A survey conducted by the department in 2021 showed that an estimated 56.2% of students with debt owe less than R10 000; 32.9% owe between R10 000 and R50 000, and 10.9% owe more than R50 000.
The survey also showed that National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students owe R5.3 billion.

“It should be noted that the government has contributed R1.7 billion to NSFAS as a result of the due diligence exercise that was undertaken in 2018 towards the historic debt of registered qualifying NSFAS students.

“This was in the main targeting eligible students who were subject to the R122 000 family income threshold and NSFAS funding cap,” Nzimande said.

Student financial aid

The minister then went on to share that the government is currently working on a student aid model that will benefit students in the future.

“This model will incorporate the existing funding available from the State, and exploring alternative funding sources,” the Minister said.

He also added:

“The Ministerial Task Team has already started engaging the banking community and progress has been made in this regard. For the current term, we are in discussions with the Banking Association of South Africa on work that needs to be done to develop a possible loan scheme for students falling outside the NSFAS funding regime.