Govt has not ensured sustainable funding to address funding crisis – UCT

University says a new policy for funding higher education must be in place before the 2017/18 budget speech

University of Cape Town statement on the systemic crisis in Higher Education

21 September 2016

We, the members of the University of Cape Town, call on all stakeholders to urgently address the systemic crisis in higher education in South Africa.

We acknowledge that the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande’s proposal to address the fee issue for 2017 is a step in the right direction. However, while the vice-chancellors have acknowledged this important gesture by the minister, it is only an interim measure. We believe that government has not acted decisively to ensure sustainable and adequate funding to address the systemic crisis in the higher education sector. Government has placed an undue burden on students, parents and universities to fund higher education.

We continue to support the national call to address the inequitable access to higher education in South Africa following years of chronic underfunding. We are committed to finding solutions for a sustainable, affordable and equitable higher education sector. Inadequate investment in higher education will continue to have a major, detrimental impact on the development of our country for years to come.

We support lawful and peaceful protests and condemn all forms of violence and intimidation.

As members of the University of Cape Town we:

- Appeal to the national government to provide additional funding to sustain the higher education project

- Demand that a new policy for funding higher education must be in place before the 2017/18 budget speech. If the Judicial Commission cannot achieve this, a special task team must be established to do so.

- Urge all stakeholders to immediately engage in constructive dialogue to address the challenges in higher education.

All members of the UCT community participating in the picket will be expected to comply with the instructions of the picket’s marshals.

Issued by Max Price, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, 21 September 2016