Nzimande: Universities to decide on 2017 fees hikes themselves

Government will assist qualifying students to fund the gap between the 2015 fee and the adjusted 2017 fee.

FILE: Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has announced that it will be up to universities to decide their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year but has suggested the increase not be more than eight percent.

The government will however assist qualifying students to fund the gap between the 2015 fee and the adjusted 2017 fee at their institution.

The minister made the announcement in Pretoria today.

Nzimande says their recommendation follows extensive consultations with university vice chancellors, council chairs, student organisations and government.

Minister Blade Nzimande says government is committed to finding the resources to support children of households that earn less than R600,000 a year.

This subsidy means these students will continue to pay 2015 rates.

"This will in effect mean that all NSFAS-qualifying students, as well as the so-called 'missing middle' - that is students whose families earn above the NSFAS threshold, but who are unbale to support their children to access higher education - will experience a no fee increase in 2017."

The cost of this support has not yet been determined.