The University of the Witwatersrand this week became the first major South African university to announce a 2017 fee increase. On 5 December it opted for the maximum advocated by the government: 8 per cent.
Wits said that even with the increase it would still face a budget deficit of R56.5 million (US$4.2m) in 2017. It said the government contribution towards covering this year’s flat fees was R146m, but that this would not be additional to the university’s regular subsidy.
“We have been recently informed that the 2016 fee increase will now be rolled into the subsidy, the net effect of which is that our subsidy increase for 2017 will be only 2.5 per cent. This equates to a net decline in income of approximately R54m for 2017 from the state,” said a university statement.