PROPOSAL: Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price

The University of Cape Town is proposing students coming from wealthy homes should pay increased tuition fees in 2017 while poorer students will not.

Students who come from homes which earn R500 000 a year will be affected.

Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price put the proposal on the table in an emailed letter to staff‚ students and alumni on Sunday.

Proposed fee increases for 2017 have been opposed with protests by students on campuses across the country.

Government has postponed an announcement on fee hikes‚ pending further consultation with all of the affected parties.

Price said no student who is academically eligible should be turned away for financial reasons.

He said in order to operate at the same level next year, UCT needed to see an eight percent increase in revenue.

“Where should the increased revenue of 8 percent come from? The universities would certainly prefer the majority of this‚ if not all of it‚ to come from government in recognition that there has been a chronic underfunding of higher education‚ which has resulted in the fees being increased over a number of years to what are unaffordable levels for many.”

As a compromise, UCT is suggesting that richer households pay the increase.

“There is no good reason why wealthy students should benefit from reducing real fees for a further year‚” he said.