‘Solution to fee crisis should cover all needs of poor students’

Pali Lehohla says solution to the fees question should cover all the needs of poor students.

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Statistician-General Pali Lehohla says whatever solution government provides to the university fees question, it should cover all the needs of poor students, and not just tuition fees.

Lehohla was speaking at the release of the 2015 financial statistics of higher education institutions report.

He says the figures show a system which is inefficient, and is not doing enough to ensure students exit universities with qualifications.

Lehohla says the complexities which contribute to the high failure rate at universities should be included in any funding solution offered to students.

"The students only receive tuition money and not for food, that's a problem. The solution must be structured in such a way that the student can only do what he/she is supposed to do; which is to study. If they have to fend for themselves for other things, then we can't expect an environment for good study (sic)."

The figures show that the 26 institutions of higher learning received income worth R63 billion in 2015, 42 percent of which was made up of government grants.

Nearly two-thirds was spent on staff salaries.