Earlier this year student protests erupted across the country, with learners demanding free higher education and better accommodation. While some tertiary institutions have resumed their academic learning, some are still shut down due to the protests.
Late last week the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) had a discussion in front of the National Assembly committee to lay out a plan on how they would deal with issues facing tertiary institutions.
According to IOL News, deputy director-general for universities at DHET, Diane Parker, said that this year’s protests were focused on the allowance of payments to students receiving the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and that the Department and NSFAS would work together to implement the new bursary scheme for students.
“In particular, protests were focused on the policy to living, transport, accommodation allowances, which provided different allowances to students living at home and those who were in private accommodation,” said Parker.
IOL News added that the Department would implement the student housing infrastructure programme, which would work on partnerships to provide 200 000 student beds for universities and 100 000 beds for TVET college students over the next 10 years, with 18 221 new beds being provided over the next three years.
Parker added that the Department supported a range of work to enhance student success, such as the introduction of the University Capacity Development Grant, and would continue to support the sustainability of all processes, including the possible funding scheme for the missing middle students.