The rising cost of higher education in the country is attributed to a number of factors. According to a University World News article, these include:
• Increase of fees on the back of rising maintenance costs
• Enrolment rates
• Rand-Dollar exchange rate which impacts imported books and learning materials
• Increase in academic and administrative salaries
• A rise in costs of municipal services and electricity and water tariffs
• Costs of operating libraries and other teaching and learning amenities
• Student shortfalls in tuition fees, year-on-year
Current estimated costs for the 2021 academic year are as follows:
• Public school between R 30 000 to R 60 000 for the year
• Private school between R 100 000 to R 200 000 for the year
• A degree between R 30 000 to R 75 000 per year or up to R 300 000 for a four-year degree
With the 2021 academic year off to a start, many families have no idea how they will be able to pay for studies this year.
We are seeing a strain on traditional sources of alternative financial relief such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and other government funding, which supports approximately 40% of university students across South Africa.
Gugulethu Mfuphi is in conversation with Makgau Dibakwane, FUNDI CEO, and Leana De Beer, Chief Executive Officer of local student crowdfunding platform FEENIX, about other funding options to assist students.