SA can't afford free education for everyone - UCT's Max Price

Price warns that ongoing protests at UCT can have a negative effect on prospective students.

FILE: Students at the University of Cape Town hold a silent demonstration in support of the resumption of lecture and academic activity. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor Max Price says he does not agree with the call for free higher education for everyone, as the country cannot afford it at the moment.

He does however support free higher education for the poor and the establishment of a financial aid system that can accommodate students from middle and lower-income households.

The UCT campus has been reopened, but protesting students have vowed to continue following closure as a result of student protests.

Price says this academic year will be completed successfully.

"Now we've committed to keeping the campus open and so far I think we're making good progress."

He warns that ongoing protests can have a negative effect on prospective students who would like to enroll at the varsity.

"It would become a problem if we went on so long, that people who want to come and study here, who want to come and work here start questioning whether they would finish their degree in the year that they come here, whether they would be able to do their research in peace."

Despite this, university management says the campus is still seen as the top tertiary institution on the African continent.