The University of Cape Town (UCT) announced on Tuesday that it will increase tuition fees for 2017 by 8%.
“The Council approved the implementation in 2017 of an 8% general increase in tuition fees and a 10% increase in accommodation fees for students who have a household income over R600,000,” the university said.
“Council noted that for these students, since there was no increase in fees for 2016, this in effect amounts to a 4% increase per year for tuition and a 5% increase for accommodation and meals.”
Regarding foreign students, the council agreed on an 8% increase for students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and a 10% fee increase for students from outside the region.
“The council noted that there would be a continuation of the various concessions for students from the rest of Africa and for international postgraduate students. An 8% increase in the US dollar-based fee for the 2017 Semester Study Abroad programme was also agreed upon.”
Factors that influenced the increase included inflation, salary increase, insourcing costs, exchange-rate devaluation impacting on libraries and laboratories and rates and utility increases, the university said.
Other institutions such as Stellenbosch University, Witwatersrand, Unisa, and the University of Free State have announced fee increase for 2017, which they said would help cushion costs incurred after President Jacob Zuma decreed that there would be no fees hikes for the 2016 academic year.
So far, only the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has announced it will not be increasing fees for 2017.
UCT council chairman Sipho Pityana said the fee increase was unavoidable.
“We know the issue of fee-free education is most prominent at present. It is exercising all our minds and much work is being done to find sustainable solutions,” said Pityana.
“We increase the fees reluctantly, but with current government subsidies available to us, we have no choice. If we do not increase fees, we simply won’t be able to deliver at the same level. We are very pleased, however, that we are able to protect the poor and missing-middle students from any increases.”
– African News Agency