LAST MONTH, it was reported that about R4bn is owed to universities in outstanding fees, and there are threats of renewed student protests against fees this year. It is still not entirely clear how the fee shortfalls are to be met, and a core group of protesters intends to continue the fight for free tertiary education for all.Free education is a fine goal. There are compelling reasons why SA’s youth want access to university education: for starters, Statistics SA reports that two-thirds of adults with no formal education are poor, while this is true for only 5.5% of those with a post-matric qualification.For people living in poverty, a university education is perceived as a passport to an entirely different life.In the 2015 matric results, there was an increase in the number of pupils qualifying for admission to bachelor studies (from 150,737 in 2014 to 166,263 in 2015).But, as these young people celebrate their achievements and turn their attention to the next phase of their lives...

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