Concerns raised over department’s refusal to pay for post-graduate studies

SABC News Wits P - Concerns raised over department’s refusal to pay for post-graduate studies

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has raised questions over the Department of Higher Education’s refusal to pay for post-graduate studies.

SAUS has embarked on a national shutdown of tertiary institutions over issues of student debt.  This after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimade said that students who qualified for NSFAS funding and have historic debt, would be allowed to register if they signed an acknowledgment of debt.

SAUS National Spokesperson Thabo Shingange questioned why post-graduate students have been excluded.

“Why mustn’t they pay? If you look into the system, the amount of PHDs and women in academic spaces are quite low, black people in these spaces are low, so why shouldn’t government pay?  Who must pay for these things? You have funded these undergrad students for three years with NSFAS and when it comes to honours and masters, where do these riches suddenly come from.”

The union has meanwhile called on universities across the country to allow walk-in applications. The union has written to Nzimande with a list of demands.

They include the extension of NSFAS deadline for funding post-graduate students and for the organisation to extend its services to UNISA students.

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