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Rhodes University supports free education ‘for poor, deserving students’

The university believes government and the private sector should provide more funding.

FILE: Rhodes University. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Rhodes University says it supports calls by students for free quality education but only for poor, deserving students.

The institution, like many others throughout the country, has faced protests this week from students calling for free higher education.

Demonstrations erupted earlier this week shortly after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that tuition fee hikes will be left to individual varsities.

Its management yesterday led hundreds of academics, staff and some students in a march to the municipal buildings in Grahamstown, calling for more government financial support of universities and colleges.

Rhodes University management has warned if the current fees crisis is not addressed, it could lead to a collapse of the higher education system.

It adds this will disadvantage the poor and working class because wealthy parents will send their children to private or overseas universities.

The university believes government and the private sector should provide more funding, so that poor, academically deserving students can have access to tertiary education.

It also raised concerns at what it calls sustained "chronic underfunding" of universities.

University of Fort Hare management has already announced fees will not be increased next year because most of its students fall in categories exempted from a hike.

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