South African's are eagerly awaiting the release of the Fees Commission Report by President Jacob Zuma.
On Sunday, the City Press reported on an alleged leaked copy of the Fees Commission Report which stated that the demand for free education would not be answered.
Professor Ahmed Bawa, CEO at Universities South Africa spoke to 702 anchor Azania Mosaka about what the students' hopes are for the report.
Bawa says they are all puzzled about the way in which the report is to be released and what processes will be followed to engage all stakeholders.
A whole range of submissions were made to the commission. One would hope that when the report is finally released it will contain a whole range of options that are open to us.— Professor Ahmed Bawa, CEO at Universities South Africa
Bawa says from what is revealed in the City Press report, no short term solutions are provided which is the biggest challenge. He goes on to say that an affordable higher education system is needed in South Africa.
For instance, the report, hopefully, will say something like 'no young person who is admitted to our universities will be prevented from studying for financial reasons and that the state will take whatever action it has to take to cover up that shortfall'.— Professor Ahmed Bawa, CEO at Universities South Africa
The country needs both short term and long term solutions to enable tertiary education to get back to a certain level of stability, explains Bawa.
Bawa tells Mosaka that the one thing achieved during former minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande tenure was a massive increase in the financial aid budget.
He adds that the challenge presented currently is understanding how to deploy those resources in the most effective way.
Bawa further says there is a dire need for a loan facility for the missing middle students and those from the most cash-strapped backgrounds who struggle to raise funds for tertiary education.
One of the proposals put forward by Bawa and his team is the graduate tax which he says will provide a mechanism that will aid with redistribution in society.
Listen to the audio below for more: