Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh believes free higher education is a possibility

The question over whether or not South Africa can afford free education has been a longstanding one.

In his new and debut book, activist and author Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh considers the prospects of free and/or affordable fees.

Mpofu-Walsh writes: The term is sometimes used to describe affordable fees. Others mean that the whole educational experience is free, including meals, accommodation, books, study materials, travel and a stipend for living expenses. Still, others mean free tuition: no student would have to pay for their courses. I will focus on free tuition, which is the first step to a fully free educational system and the most achievable policy option in the short term.

I think we're stuck in this rut between thinking we have to provide free education for everyone tomorrow - or doing nothing and letting fees skyrocket in the meantime.

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, author and activist

What I try to do with this extract is highlight the short term interventions we can make in the direction of free education which would ease the burden on students and remedy the chronic instability that we've seen in the higher education sector for so long.

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, author and activist

We've been told by so-called economists, who I don't think have looked at the numbers properly, that this would be unaffordable and impossible. What if providing free tuition would be relatively cheap?

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, author and activist

Mpofu-Walsh further explains that those who need financial aid the most and are the poorest should be first in line for free education.

Once we've covered them and we've tested the programme out - then we can hold debates about whether we can roll out it to everyone or how far the bar should go, he adds.

He says to start with the needy, 400 000 student on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and then re-assess how it goes and have the data determine the next step.

Listen to the full interview in the audio clip below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Have your say on City's new plan to help make Cape Town drought-proof

Have your say on City's new plan to help make Cape Town drought-proof

The City of CT plans to increase available water capacity by more than 300 million litres a day through various measures.

Pick n Pay adds fresh produce bags to range of re-usable shopping bags

Pick n Pay adds fresh produce bags to range of re-usable shopping bags

The retailer will trial a re-usable netted fruit and vegetable fresh produce bag as an alternative to the clear plastic veg bags.

Ramaphosa establishes Cabinet committee to keep watch on Eskom

Ramaphosa establishes Cabinet committee to keep watch on Eskom

President Cyril Ramaphosa says there's no silver bullet to fixing the myriad of problems at Eskom.

Passengers feel ripped-off by airline 'no-show' policies

Passengers feel ripped-off by airline 'no-show' policies

Many airlines unilaterally cancel the return leg of a passenger's booking if they do not arrive on time for their outbound flight.

 In conversation with Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh - Democracy & Delusion

In conversation with Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh - Democracy & Delusion

Activist and author Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh chats to Eusebius about his new book.

St John’s alumni speak out against alleged protection of racist teacher

St John’s alumni speak out against alleged protection of racist teacher

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Markus Trengrove slam the school for lack of decisive action and council chairman Dr Jon Patricios explains.

Popular articles
DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

MultiChoice will increase the prices of certain DStv packages from 1 April.

'I got retrenched and it took a toll on my relationship' - on money and intimacy

'I got retrenched and it took a toll on my relationship' - on money and intimacy

Money is one of the top causes of relationship fights and divorce. Dr Eve and callers discuss how it can affect sexual intimacy.

Dr Adriana Marais was on her way to the Red Planet. Then Mars One collapsed

Dr Adriana Marais was on her way to the Red Planet. Then Mars One collapsed

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Marais, a quantum biology researcher with dreams to live on Mars.

'Get ready for tax levy to save Eskom, because the money is simply not there'

'Get ready for tax levy to save Eskom, because the money is simply not there'

Eskom has so much debt it threatens to break South Africa. Bruce Whitfield interviews Dr Adrian Saville of Cannon Asset Managers.

McBride's testimony could implicate MPs in state capture

McBride's testimony could implicate MPs in state capture

Ipid boss Robert McBride is expected to implicate 30 high profile individuals including Members of Parliament in his testimony.

Agrizzi gives the Mokgoro Commission the cold shoulder fearing charges

Agrizzi gives the Mokgoro Commission the cold shoulder fearing charges

Angelo Agrizzi's legal team wrote to the commission informing it that he won't be testifying following being criminally charged.

South Africa just became the world’s hottest destination for oil exploration

South Africa just became the world’s hottest destination for oil exploration

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stephen Larkin, CEO at Africa New Energies.