Stellenbosch favours subsidised higher education

The university is the latest institution to concede that free tertiary education may not be feasible.

Stellenbosch University. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University has told the Fees Commission, it would struggle to keep its doors open if government was to make tertiary education free.

The institution's management is making a presentation to the Commission into Higher Education and Training, looking at the feasibility of fee-free tertiary education.

It has told the commission that it believes a proposed eight percent increase will sustain universities.

University officials have told the commission that the institution is still feeling the effects of the decision not to hike fees this year, with poor students the worst affected.

It claims the effects could be felt until 2019.

The university's vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers says it is because of these factors that the university believes that free tertiary education is not feasible.

"We want to rather push for subsidized higher education for the poor and we believe that bursaries can be used as a very strategic instrument to provide access to higher education for the poor."

De Villiers adds that the university faces the possibility of a R50 million deficit if fees aren't increase in 2017.