The increase of the tuition fee, accommodation fees and the residence meal by 8%, 10% and 12% for 2018 is as a result of the presidents declared fees funding during the ANC just held convention. Read more
A tuition increase of 8%‚ an accommodation increase of 10% for residences‚ and a 12% increase for residence meal options for 2018 were announced by the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday.
Students on financial assistance will not be affected by the tuition increase.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price said the university had delayed the announcement “in the hope that we might have received greater clarity from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on the implications of the president’s statement on funding and fees.
Unfortunately‚ there is still considerable uncertainty on whether and how the policy announced by the president will be introduced”.
“The decision to increase tuition and residence fees at UCT was not taken lightly‚ especially in the current atmosphere on university campuses across South Africa‚” Price said in a letter on students and lecturers.
The increases are in line with those at other universities as indicated in a previous statement from Universities South Africa.
Households with incomes below R600‚000 per year will largely be protected from the increase.
However‚ “There remains little clarity at this stage on how the president’s announcement on free education for first-time entering South African undergraduates with household incomes below R350‚000 will be implemented and whether it will be possible to do so before the necessary systems have been developed”.
“We will communicate with students as soon as we have clearer guidelines from National Student Financial Aid Scheme and the Department of Higher Education and Training.”
For students from households above the NSFAS income threshold‚ but below family incomes of R600‚000 per annum‚ “UCT will continue‚ as in the past‚ to make available financial aid‚ mostly in the form of loans (what we call the Gap funding model)”‚ Price said.
He believed it was likely that the DHET would cover the 8% increase also for students in the Gap group.
“Taking this into account‚ the UCT financial aid packages will increase by the amount required to ensure that the out-of-pocket costs by NSFAS and Gap students do not increase. Living allowances for those living outside the UCT residence system will also increase.”
The additional financial aid is funded from a combination of sources including NSFAS‚ the philanthropy of alumni and foundations‚ and corporations providing bursaries.
Price said: “Depending on clarification from the DHET‚ the net effect of this is that students from these income brackets will be paying the same in 2018 as they were in 2015‚ which amounts to a decrease in real terms (accounting for inflation in this period) of about 20%.”