It is vital that universities and technical and vocational education training (TVET) colleges stick to their enrolment plans as the government phases in free higher education, a senior higher education department official told Parliament on Wednesday. Last week former finance minister Malusi Gigaba announced that an additional R57bn had been allocated over the medium-term expenditure framework to realise former president Jacob Zuma’s promise of free higher education for students from poor and working class families. This followed Zuma’s announcement on December 16, which also prompted political parties such as the EFF to call on aspirant students to descend on campuses and demand to be accommodated. But both higher education institutions and the government have been at pains to stress that they have a fixed number of places. "This funding is based on agreed-upon enrolment plans. Tight management of these plans is essential," the Higher Education Department’s deputy director-general ...

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