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The long-awaited Fees Commission Report has finally be released — albeit over 30-minutes later than advertised — and Twitter has responded in earnest.
After waiting years for the ANC government to take a firm stance on the possibility of free tertiary education, users not only crashed the official website, but also pushed #FeesCommission to top trending nationwide.
The first issue on the table? The official document’s (found here) 752 pages — though a few have already offered sub-280 character summaries.
Can the law students kindly read and then give us a summary.
I practically got a headache just looking at so many words. #FeesCommission
— Zola Lasmisi (@zola360degrees) November 13, 2017
I’m waiting for the summarised version of the #FeesCommission report
— King_TutankhamunXXII (@King_TutaXXII) November 13, 2017
So we have the #FeesCommission report:
1. Income-Contingency Loans recommended for all students
2. NSFAS for TVET colleges
3. Application and registration fees should be scrapped
4. Govt expenditure on Higher Education should be increased to at least 1% of the GDP
— Anton Meijer (@antonnies) November 13, 2017
The summary of recommendations includes proposals like putting aside 1% of GDP for higher education (including TVET) and using an Income Contingency Loans (ICL) system to replace NSFAS for university funding. The ball is now in the government’s court. #FeesCommission https://t.co/g23KEMa4fj
— Chris Fleming💡 (@chr1sfleming) November 13, 2017
Response was also focussed on the recommendation that all technical vocational education and training (TVET) students “receive fully subsidized free education in the form of grants that cover their full cost of study”.
— #BLACKNIFICENT (@MatlhomolaX) November 13, 2017
For those in universities, however, “income contingency loans” were recommended.
The Income Loan Contingent (ICL) model as detailed in the #FeesCommission summary suggests loans for university students up to the full cost of study (note: study) with input from the private financial sector contributing as part of its social responsibilities @eNCA
— Erin Bates (@ermbates) November 13, 2017
What difference does it make replacing Nsfas with ICL? 👀 This Commission was just a waste of time!!!!! #FeesCommission
— A Star Is Born 🌟 (@BonganiMalate) November 13, 2017
— IG: sizwe_dlamini1 (@Sizwe_Dlamini1) November 13, 2017
so dissapointed!!!! 😩#FeesCommission
— Lebzatainment (@Lebza_tainment) November 13, 2017
Many were upset that the report recommended dragging the banking sector into funding tertiary education.
By introducing commercial banks into this, they are going to make it difficult for ex-students to purchase cars or houses #FeesCommission
— Cee🖤 (@CeeGee117) November 13, 2017
The very unscrupulous banking sector which refuses to transform is being recommended to deal with fees #FeesCommission
— Ota Benga (@Who_is_Odwa) November 13, 2017
So this #FeesCommission came up with a “solution” where the students will now owe the banks as opposed to owing NFSAS (Government)? Justice Jonathan Arthur HEHER, your commission just did not come up with solutions. just more problems, me thinks. pic.twitter.com/R0TmXDQz0E
— St.Mthokozisi Ntenga (@SaintMthokozisi) November 13, 2017
One user was perplexed as to how the recommendations were considered new.
HISTORIC DEBT: “It is recommended that students with debt, who have since graduated, be offered income-contingent loans (ICL) as well.” #FeesCommission How is this new?
— melitta Ngalonkulu (@MelittaMelc) November 13, 2017
The report is only a recommendation by the Commission and the government is not obligated to accept its findings.