Is free higher education legitimate and affordable in SA? And, if so, which financial model should enable its implementation? These distinct questions are often conflated; as a result, neither is answered satisfactorily. Yet they lie at the very heart of SA’s university crisis. The legitimacy of the demand for free higher education is, of course, contested. If the question were posed to the protesting students, their leadership, and even many of those in solidarity with the movement, the answer would be a categorical yes. They would hold, at least implicitly, that universities and higher education institutions more generally should be instruments for addressing inequality. But this is only possible if these institutions enable access for students from marginalised communities, and provide support to and graduate such students, thereby facilitating class mobility. If, however, these institutions only enroll the children of the rich and the upper middle classes because of their high f...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now