USAf raises concerns over sustainability of university funding plan

USAf says it's worried that should Zuma's plan to provide free education to certain group's fail it will have disastrous implications on the entire higher education system.

FILE: A student holds a placard at the student protest on Wednesday 14 October 2015 after Wits University proposed an increase of 10.5 percent in tuition fees for 2016. Picture: @Zoe_Ngwenyurr via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Universities South Africa (USAf) says it's concerned that President Jacob Zuma's short notice plan to provide fee free education may not be sustainable in the long term.

Zuma announced last week that government will subsidise poor and working class students in the 2018 academic year.

This is despite the Heher Commission's findings that fee-free education is not viable at this stage and that other funding models will have to be explored.

USAf says it's worried that should Zuma's plan to provide free education to certain group's fail, it will have disastrous implications on the entire higher education system.

Meanwhile, the so-called mastermind behind Zuma's plan, Morris Masutha is adamant that the method will be successful.

“The CEO of Nsfas went and told Parliament last month that if the cap is increased to 350,000, we’ll manage it.”

The ANC's commission on education has not been able to elaborate on how free education will be funded in the country.

It says the matter will be dealt with during Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's budget speech in February.