Universities Remain In Debt Inspite Of Tuition Fee Hike


More and more universities are into debt in spite of the student opposed tuition fee hike in South Africa.

Contrary to the belief that the increase in the number of students enrolling in universities means a higher amount of income entering, universities nowadays consider the higher count of enrollees as a bigger challenge for them.

This is primary because the increase in population requires an increase in staffing. Manpower increase means the need for higher funding. But the sad truth is as the rise in population continues; the subsidy funding remains the same.

The dramatic increase in student debt is also another factor making the challenge tougher for universities. From 2012 to 2014 a huge student debt increase of almost 50 percent was recorded in South Africa. The struggle in collecting is making the scenario even worse as even some students from well-off families does not want to settle their accounts.

These funds were directly owned by the students to the university and do not include the amount they receive from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The slow movement in the collection of student debts are pushing the universities to find income generating opportunities, The OFM News reported.

The above-mentioned factors are often the reasons why universities are pressured to implement tuition fee hike. However, tuition fee hike does not really provide an enough answer to the problem as there is a continuous increase in the percentage of students availing discounts and scholarships; resulting in a lower amount of collection.

The student opposition is also another factor making the universities rely less on tuition fee hike. The "Fees Must Fall" campaign took South African universities by storm in 2015 that even resulted to shutting down of university campuses. The campaign also worsened the collection of student debt that has been a long time struggle of universities, The Citizen reported.

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