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Govt to cover 80% of #FeesMustFall shortfall

Government will cover R1.9 billion while it's up to universities to come up with the balance.

UCT vice chancellor Max Price sits amongst students as he listens to their complaints outside Jameson Hall on 22 October 2015. Picture: Abed Ahmed/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Higher Education Department says it will cover the lion's share of a massive shortfall in university funding for next year.

Tertiary institutions were faced with a shortfall of more than R2 billion after it was announced there will be no tuition fee increases in 2016.

Government will now cover R1.9 billion, while it is up to universities to come up with the remaining money.

The department's Khaye Nkwanyana said, "Those details in terms of individual universities' contribution to that. The totality of the details will therefore be announced by the office of the president in due course."

Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town's vice chancellor says he's pleased with government's decision to cover more than 80 percent of the shortfall.

Max Price says government has held up its end of an agreement reached several weeks back.

"In our meeting with the president we said to him we're willing to go for zero percent, but only if the government can come up with the money, and at that meeting they said they would. And they did say the universities will have to find some of it that they couldn't do at all, and we said that we understand that."

Protests over rising university began at Wits on 14 October and rapidly spread to campuses across the country.

Last month, President Jacob Zuma announced a freeze on fee increases for next year.

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