UCT Vice-Chancellor, Max Price. Picture: UCT
UCT Vice-Chancellor, Max Price. Picture: UCT

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has indicated that it plans to hike tuition fees by as much as 8% and residence fees by 10% for the 2018 academic year.

UCT vice-chancellor Max Price tabled the plans on Thursday amid growing protests at the institution as students demand a moratorium on fee increases and the immediate release by President Jacob Zuma of the report on the feasibility of free higher education.

Price said the university was engaging with the government in the hope that the state would cover the proposed increases, which were necessary to keep the institution sustainable.

In October, Stellenbosch University said it would increase fees 8% in 2018, saying its long-term financial stability and world-class academic qualifications depended on the fee hikes.

Zuma said in Parliament on Thursday that the Cabinet was still discussing the recommendations in the report on the feasibility of free higher education.

According to a leaked version of the report, universal free higher education is unaffordable and reforms should be implemented to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

In a post-Cabinet briefing in Parliament, Minister of Communications Mmamaloko Kubayi said the presidential fiscal committee would look into the costing of models for the funding of higher education. She said the Cabinet did not discuss accusations of state interference in student fee protests.

"We looked at the report insofar as how to fund free education going forward. We did not discuss protests in particular. The report is expected to be released by next week as [the] Cabinet has asked to deal with the related issues," said Kubayi.

This week Parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education and training called for the report to be released without any further delay.

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