‘Increasing tuition fees limits access to higher education’

Parliament’s higher education committee chairperson commended Adam Habib for suspending the hike.

FILE: Wits University vice chancellor Adam Habib stands surrounded by students during a third day of protests at the institution over proposed tuition fee increases on 16 October 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's higher education committee chairperson has spoken out against proposed increases in tuition fees at universities.

This follows a week of demonstrations at Wits University by students opposed to the proposed 10,5 per cent hike in fees.

Classes were called off this week due to ongoing demonstrations.

However, a deal was reached on Saturday between the university and protesting students to suspend the increase and start fresh negotiations.

Chairperson of Parliament's higher education committee Yvonne Phosa says it cannot prevent universities from increasing tuition fees but says she is opposed to the increases.

Phosa has commended Wits vice chancellor Adam Habib for suspending the tuition hike.

She says this will remain an issue because Wits is not the only university affected.

Stellenbosch University has proposed an 11 percent increase in fees.

"I'm sure from the Wits experience all other universities are learning something and they will be sensitive."

She says increasing fees limits access to higher education.

"As they increase their fees indeed other students will be excluded because they will not be able to afford."

Rhodes Must Fall and other UCT student lead bodies are planning a mass march at the university on Tuesday opposing planned tuition increases.

LISTEN: Regulating university fees