The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the institution’s budget for 2017 during its quarterly meeting held on the Bloemfontein Campus on Friday, 2 December 2016.
The university says it will have a general increase of 8% in tuition fees. It also says that 8% in housing and residence fees were also approved in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.
The approved increase in fees is in line with the recommendations by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, on 19 September 2016.
The increases were approved by UFS Council, with the understanding that it would be paid by the Department of Higher Education and Training by means of the fee adjustment grant for qualifying students with a combined family income of not more than R600 000 per annum.
“The university management is aware of the economic realities in South Africa, as well as the financial pressure households are experiencing. The long-term financial sustainability of the UFS, as well as the financial constraints which impact teaching and learning, research, and community service, continue to remain of utmost importance to the Council,” said the Prof Nicky Morgan.
According to Morgan, the average fees per programme at the UFS are in almost all instances the lowest when measured against the fees of comparable universities.
This will remain in 2017, even if the 8% increase in tuition fees approved by Council is taken into account.
“The university management stated its pro-poor approach to student funding on several occasions; also that academically deserving students from poor and working class families should receive substantial financial support. For this reason – also because it does not place a burden on poor and working-class families – an increase in tuition fees aligned with the DHET proposal was submitted to the Council for approval. The presidents of the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campus Student Representative Councils were present and participated in the discussion on fees – also when Council approved the increase,” he added.
Statement issued by UFS