How should we fund higher education? As the Heher Commission deliberates on submissions made and students consider their position, the debate continues.
Wits Vice-Chancellor Prof Adam Habib addresses the issue of funding and its implications for Wits in this video recording released on 1 September 2016.
Following a meeting between the Minister of Higher Education and Training and Vice-Chancellors on 30 August, it is expected that an announcement on fees will likely be made in mid-September.
Prof Habib and Universities South Africa CEO Prof Ahmed Bawa have previously said that “we are in a moment where we have to make a decision between unpalatable choices”.
Prof David Hornsby, president of the Academic Staff Association at Wits, has set out some of the reasons why higher education is worth nurturing.
The Wits SRC has called for “a moratorium on fee increments up until the realisation of free‚ quality and equal education”.
The Centre for Higher Education has recommended a fee increase of 6.3% for 2017. The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Universities SA and the University Council Chairs Forum agreed on 12 August to consult further to find a way to fund an increase of 8% in the income of universities.
One way of increasing access to education (and university revenue) is through online learning. Wits has signed a memorandum of understanding with Academic Partnerships in the USA to build online programmes. The University has also launched its first three massive open online courses (Moocs) on the EdX platform.
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