The universities located in South Africa have faced multiple protests among the students. The massive disruption among the society is linked by an excessively strong common thread. Now, the place at the local public university is affordable for a really small number of potential students.
Protests of the students have appeared in various forms. For instance, at the University of the Western Cape, its students made a decision to become a part of the trade unions. This enabled them to protect from the low wages and the academic debts. As for the University of the Free State, the spectators of the rugby match had joined the student demonstrators and thus, turned the event into violence.
At the same time, the students of the Pretoria University violently reacted to the instruction language policy. It is known that a shortage of student housing at the Cape Town university caused a great number of artworks and buses burned. Moreover, the lecture rooms were all filled with the raw sewage thrown inside.
The most common thread in this case is the inequality as it is, as well as its consequence for the college and university students funding. The country is now known as one of the most unequal nations on the globe. Moreover, South Africa has a highly extensive and rapidly growing rate of unemployment. When talking about an average household income in the country, it is known to reach about R75 000 annually that is near £3 500. Over 70% of the people within the country qualify for free state housing for the reason that their income is too small. Education, wealth, health care and the other areas that are important for a well-being of a human are affordable for two deciles of the South African population. Altogether, these economic disasters have a highly intense effect on the higher education access.
Even though very poor students are usually provided with a bursary, it’s not enough to meet the whole scope of costs. The young people that come from slightly better families appear to be in a real life trap since they earn too little to have an opportunity to deal with fees and accommodation prices, but too much to qualify for the state support.
Since the protests reached a crescendo, the government was pushed to negotiate on the fee increases’ freeze, as well as provide compensation for the universities in part for the losses they had. As for the budget 2016, it has earmarked contingency money in order to give more space for the fee increases’ freeze for the next two years. This in turn is supposed to contribute greatly to the South African students’ debt relief, as well as to give the financial support for the students that are currently registered.
But the reality is that the solution mentioned above is a short-term one. An opportunity to study at the public university is still unaffordable for the majority of young people in South Africa, who have low and middle income. The reason lies in the fact that their current levels fees remain unattainable, while for the families with high income, the freeze of the academic fees is rather a welcome gift.