Culture wars reignited between the government and the university sector in 2018.
Tensions between the government and the university sector ran high in 2018, with the government cutting funding to student places and research and a big push back from universities.
There is also strong public understanding of the benefits that flow from research undertaken in partnership between universities and other organisations.
The freeze on university funding not only limits opportunities for students, it puts limitations on the communities unis serve, the economy, and business interested in forming collaborations.
Universities and other not-for-profit entities typically talk about surpluses, not profits.
The fact that a university has a surplus doesn't mean it has a profit to be either reinvested or returned to shareholders. Grants, for example, should be spent on the projects they're intended for.
Protesting students have had enough and their anger is burning hot.
South Africa's universities have been told to set their own fee increases for 2017. That's good news for institutions, but it hasn't been well-received by many students.
A year on from South Africa’s #feesmustfall protests, funding remains a hot issue.
Academia is being asked to do less for more, and universities are at financial breaking point. This has implications for all South Africans.
Capping the number of students at current levels would reduce future participation in tertiary education.
One option could be to cut per-student funding and instead raise the student contribution from an average of about 40% to 50%, by raising HECS caps.
University graduates are vital to creating new jobs, technologies and industries.
Over the next ten years, 40% of jobs are predicted to disappear. Universities will be essential to helping people reskill, upskill and reinvent their jobs.
Uncapping fees for some degree courses is still an option.
While the government finally ruled out full fee deregulation in its 2016 budget, it is still contemplating uncapping fees for some degree courses. Here's what else is being discussed.
What should government and students contribute towards university degrees?
Increasing the amount that students pay towards their degree is likely to be on the cards of higher education in this year's election.
When money’s tight, there’s no better time for researchers to bust out of the Ivory Tower and actively engage with the public.
Nhoj Leunamme == Jhon Emmanuel/Flickr
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