Public higher education institutions managed to raise about R300m more in tuition fees in 2016 than in 2015, but their biggest income boost came from government.

Universities received R21.595bn in tuition fees in 2016‚ according to figures released by Statistics SA, up from R21.287bn in 2015.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla presented the financial statistics of 20 public universities and six universities of technology in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The University of SA (Unisa) raised the most in tuition fees‚ collecting R2.8bn.

This was followed by the University of Pretoria‚ with R1.927bn.

The Department of Higher Education boosted institutions’ coffers with a R5bn increase in the grants it provided, to R30bn from R25bn.

"Cash receipts from operating activities increased by R6.4bn‚ from R60.956bn in 2015 to R67.366bn in 2016. This increase was due to increases in grants received from the Department of Higher Education and Training and other receipts, including tuition fees‚" said the report.

Universities collected R15.7bn from "other receipts"‚ excluding tuition fees. This is money collected through donations‚ interest received by the institution and research income. While Stats SA did not give a 2015 figure for this income, an extrapolation of puts it at about R14.6bn.

Universities that collected the most money through other receipts were the University of Cape Town‚ the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Pretoria.

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