Fees Commission proposes free education, but not at university

South Africa's Zuma says has no plans to announce free education programme

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Universities will not be receiving free education but the report recommends that TVET college education should be fee free in the form of grants and that "no student be partially funded" at these schools.

Coovadia said on Monday that they had been awaiting the report to be released in order to move forward.

Through this cost-sharing model, commercial banks should issue government guaranteed loans to the students that are payable by the student upon graduation and attainment of a specific income threshold, according to the report.

"The Commission recommended that Government must further investigate the viability of online and blended learning as an alternative in addressing the funding and capacity challenges facing the current higher education and training sector", the report states.

In an effort to make technical and vocational tertiary education more appealing, the report also recommends that TVET students be given stipends where needed, which would cover the full cost of study.

The Heher Commission said TVET colleges must become institutions of first choice, rather than holding second class positions, as is the case now as they are of benefit to the economy.

The Commission recommended that government adopt an affordable plan to develop more student accommodation and that Historically Disadvantaged Institutions be prioritised.

On registration fees, the commission recommended that application and registration fees be scrapped across the board.

The Herher Commission has recommended that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), which now funds university students, be replaced by the income contingent loan system.

"The evidence before the Commission regarding technical education is clear: Successful economies place an emphasis on producing technically qualified, work oriented graduates in numbers which outweigh those of university graduates", the report states. President Jacob Zuma has appointed two committees, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, to consider the recommendations made by the Commission and his response will be released once the ministers have concluded their work.

Zuma received the final report from the commission on August 30, 2017.

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