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Dept explains decrease in student funding

The Department of Higher Education made its submission to the Fees Commission on Inquiry.

Students protest at Parliament in Cape Town for free education on 22 September 2016. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The Higher Education Department says university funding has increased in real terms but decreased per student, because of significant enrollment growth.

This was among the submissions made at the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training in Centurion yesterday.

President Jacob Zuma established the commission to investigate the feasibility of free higher education.

The department's Diane Parker says the funding of universities has increased significantly over the last decade.

"The actual amount of funding in real terms in university education has increased by approximately 30%."

At the same time, she says there has been pressure on institutions to increase enrollments.

"If you take that in real terms using CPI as your index, the decline in funding per student is at about 3,1%."

The Presidency is scheduled to make its submission to the commission today.