Students from poor and working class families with combined income of up to R350 000 per annum are not expected to pay any upfront registration fee at the country’s tertiary institutions as from this year, the Department of Higher Education clarified on Tuesday.
In a statement the department said there would be no upfront registration payment at TVET Colleges and universities for students who qualify for NSFAS funding. Students who do not qualify for NSFAS funding will be expected to pay upfront registration as has been the norm.
This is in line with the free tertiary education plan announced by President Jacob Zuma last December.
According to the department’s estimate, those expected to pay upfront registration fees currently make up to 55% of the country’s student population and come from high income families who can afford to pay for their tertiary education. It is also estimated that these high income households make up less than 3% of the country’s population.
The new free tertiary education plan is aimed at changing the current student population demographics at the country’s tertiary instutions by ensuring that over 90% of the students from poor and working class families have access to higher education . These are students from families who make the 55% of the country population who, according to a Statistics South Africa 2017 report, live in poverty.