The Council on Higher Education (CHE) is expected to hand a regulatory framework report on how university fees should be implemented from next year to the minister of higher education and training.

Universities are agonising over whether to publish their 2017 fees for the benefit of new students or keep this information under wraps to avoid unrest similar to the #FeesMustFall demonstrations which caused campuses to shut down last year.

The minister’s spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana, said once Blade Nzimande received and read the report, he would make a national announcement.

Last year, university students went on nationwide protests calling for free higher education. University campuses were shut down and examinations and graduation ceremonies postponed. The students took their protest to Parliament and the Union Buildings, a move which led to President Jacob Zuma announcing a zero fee increase for this academic year.

Zuma also instituted a commission of inquiry into the feasibility of fee-free higher education in January.

The terms of reference of the commission have now been amended to allow it more time to do its work.

The Presidency said on Friday, the commission has until June 30 after it requested an extension.

It’s to submit a preliminary report to Zuma by mid-November.

This week, some students alleged on social media that universities were planning to increase fees by at least six percent next year. However, universities have denied this, saying discussions are continuing and new fees will be announced later this year.