UJ welcomes government’s subsidy of 2017 university fees

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has welcomed today’s (19 September 2016) announcement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, that government will subsidise poor and missing middle university students, by providing the funding to cover fee adjustments for 2017. This encouraging announcement ensures that around 75% of our students will have a zero percent fee increase in 2017.

UJ Vice Chancellor, Professor Ihron Rensburg, also commended stakeholders — including parents, students, sponsors and staff — for their patience and understanding as the government’s delicate consultations were taking place in the last few months, culminating in today’s important announcement.

“We welcome both the government’s support for poor and missing middle students in 2017, as well as Dr Nzimande’s continued commitment to ensuring that universities, as key national assets, are sustained and strengthened going into the future. This is very good news that bodes well for the higher education sector going into the future.”

Indeed, South Africa has never needed its institutions of higher learning more than now to empower the next generations so that they can play a meaningful role in uplifting all our communities and building our economy and continent,” Prof Rensburg said.

In a statement today, Minister Nzimande confirmed that the government would subsidise poor, working and missing middle university students, by providing the funding to cover the fee adjustments at all universities in 2017, thus once again a zero percentage fee increase will be applicable. Based on this recommendation from the Minister of Higher Education and Training, UJ will consult with the Student Representative Council and the final decision on the 2017 fee increases for the students who do not qualify for the subsidised fee increase will be decided by UJ Council.

Together with the Department of Higher Education and Training, universities will also continue to mobilise institutional and private sector financial support for students not covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), specifically those students whose family incomes are above the NSFAS threshold, but who cannot afford fees on their own.

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