SA is not the only country grappling with the rising demand for and cost of higher education. According to a new policy paper by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), governments across the world are struggling to keep pace with the rapidly rising demand for higher education as well as high fees, which often have to be carried by families that cannot afford them. The paper was released last week as debate continues in SA about the possibility of providing free higher education. SA’s universities have been rocked by protests in recent years as students demanded that fee increases be scrapped. The government agreed to no fee hikes in 2016 and capped increases for the 2017 academic year at 8%. Statistics SA data show that university fees increased about 80% since 2008. The universities, whose main source of income is fees, have previously pointed out that government funding was inadequate. Protesting students ultimately want the government to provide free h...

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