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UCT: Decision to increase fees was not taken lightly

UCT has announced it will increase tuition fees by 8%, residence accommodation by 10% and residence meals by 12%.

FILE: UCT vice chancellor Max Price sits among students as he listens to their complaints outside Jameson Hall on 22 October 2015 during Fees Must Fall protests. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice Chancellor Max Price says the decision to increase university fees was not taken lightly, especially in the current atmosphere at campuses across the country.

UCT has announced it will increase tuition fees by 8%, residence accommodation by 10% and residence meals by 12%.

The increase will not affect students on financial aid.

President Jacob Zuma's promise of free tertiary education for first years from families who earn under R350,000 a year appears to have caused confusion both in government and at universities.

Neither the Presidency nor Treasury have clarified how this offer will be funded.

Earlier this year, hundreds of students protested for a zero-fee increase, free education and the release of the Heher Report into university fees.

In September, universities said they couldn't afford not to increase fees because of operational costs.

Weeks later, the president released the Heher Report which said government could not afford free tertiary education for all.

UCT has said it will top up funding for students who are eligible for financial aid.

Households with incomes below R600,000 will be protected from the increase.

Price says there is still little clarity on how the president's announcement on free education will be implemented.