With tertiary establishments quickly to welcome their first-year college students, the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Student Command is standing by its mantra of no greater training charges — and going to courtroom to assist this precept.
The Scholar Command has introduced an pressing movement in opposition to the Minister of Larger Schooling, Science and Expertise Blade Nzimande and Unisa within the excessive courtroom in Pretoria. The Scholar Command desires the upper training minister’s determination to direct Unisa to scale back its 2021 first-time college students consumption by 20 000 to be declared illegal and invalid.
On 28 December Nzimande issued two directives to Unisa: to scale back its first-time scholar consumption and to reschedule the opening of 2021 lessons.
The primary directive instructed Unisa to “scale back its 2021 first time coming into college students by 20 000 in 2021 to accommodate the over-enrollment in 2020, and the influence this may have on NSFAS [National Student Financial Aid Scheme] over the subsequent few years till these college students full their ”.
The minister ascribed this to “present fiscal constraints and the influence that over-enrollment has on the entire sector”.
In 2018, Unisa was warned to stick to its enrollment planning targets of first-time coming into college students or face a penalty. It did not adjust to the minister’s calls and was penalised within the 2020-21 monetary 12 months for this over-enrollment. Preliminary knowledge presents a 35% over-enrollment in 2020, translating to greater than 20 000 college students.
The minister famous in its directive that this over-enrollment “could have a big influence on the sustainability of NSFAS and the higher-education sector as a complete”.
Moreover, the minister additionally identified that Unisa’s intention to start the educational 12 months for first-time college students early in January “is completely out of sync”, given the backdrop of Covid-19 disruptions. This 12 months, greater training establishments are starting the educational 12 months solely in March or April. Unisa agreed to each directives in early January.
This resulted in Unisa accepting solely 37 857 college students in 2021, as a substitute of its deliberate first-time scholar consumption of 57 857. In a statement issued on 6 January, Unisa famous that: “This decision is supposed to make sure (1) monetary sustainability of the college and the sector, and (2) to allow the college’s [sic] to successfully assist the scholars.”
Towards this backdrop, the EFF Scholar Command greater than a month later handed in a courtroom movement to rule the discount of first-time scholar consumption for 2021 by 20 000 as illegal and invalid.
Tommy Huma, senior media officer at Unisa, says administration has but to reply to the EFF Scholar Command’s courtroom movement.
In the meantime, the EFF has reiterated its coverage on free greater training in a recent statement, calling “for the freezing of all debt owed to in