The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has welcomed the release of the Fees Commission report.

Chairperson of the committee, Connie September, said the committee had presented extensive recommendations which the National Assembly adopted relating to the funding of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges.

“We now looking forward to the response from the Inter-Ministerial Committee,” said September.

“Fee-free education for all is what we would want. But fee-free education for the poor is what the government has correctly committed itself to. We need to ensure that administration at universities remains sustainable and that whatever funding model we opt for is feasible and does not compromise academic and research capacity in our country,”  she added.

The statement follows after President Jacob Zuma on Monday released the much-awaited Heher Commission report on the feasibility of free higher education in South Africa. The Commission was established following the 2015 Fees Must Fall protests.

“This is taking the higher education sector and the country in a right direction and will hopefully bring about stability in the sector,” said September.

The Commission recommended that no student who qualifies for entry into South Africa’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should have to pay a cent of their study costs.

“…all students at TVET Colleges should receive fully subsidised free education in the form of grants that cover their full cost of study and that no student should be partially funded.”

The Heher commission report, as expected, announced that free higher education for all was not feasible as the country could not afford it. 

For university students, the commission is in favour of a cost-sharing model that includes both government and banks.

– African News Agency