Government will foot the bill for registration fees for poor students wishing to study next year.
This emerged yesterday as Minister for Higher Education Blade Nzimande briefed Parliament on the state of the fees crisis that has crippled institutions across the country as students continue to fight for free education for all.
Nzimande reiterated a commitment to finding a long-term solution to the university crisis.
He said government will pay for the registration fees of poor students and those from the so-called missing middle class whose parents earned less than R600 000 a year.
Nzimande explained that students with historic debt, and funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, will also be allowed to register free of charge next year.
“Students studying through NSFAS will not pay any registration fees for next year or pay any upfront fees,” he said.
The minister has come under fire from students and other politicians for his handling of the situation since fresh protests broke out a few weeks ago.
Nationwide protests began in September after Nzimande announced that varsity fees can increase next year but by no more than eight percent, and only for those who can afford it.
But students rejected this, and while some protested for no fee increases, others were demanding free education for all.