Jonathan Jansen, former vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, dissects the ’no-fees’ rhetoric and outlines ways to resolve the crisis facing SA universities. WHAT IT MEANS: Free  education for all will deepen SA’s extreme social inequality. State must restore tech education; not call for more university students Let’s begin with a correction to the protester rhetoric: there is no such thing as free education. Somebody always pays. The notion that "government must pay" is itself misleading. Officials redeploy other people’s money, the taxpayers’ money, to pay for social goods like education. Nor do students in schools and universities not pay. No matter how much government might put into university fees, students and their families always pay, even if the basic needs — tuition, accommodation and books — are covered by outside agencies. Poor students have to find money for transportation, field trips, laboratory materials and basic living needs, from soap to sanitary pa...

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