Portfolio Committee Chairperson Yvonne Phosa said the committee supports the establishment of the task team, as it is what is needed to deal with the funding challenges in the higher education and training sector.
“This is a progressive move that will go a long way towards ensuring that there is adequate funding for higher education and training. It will also complement efforts that have been ongoing in order to address the funding challenges.
“We support the stakeholder engagement, as it is only through working together that we can achieve better results. We commend the inclusive task team charged with the responsibility to come with the best solution to funding tertiary education,” said Phosa on Monday.
The task team, which consists of the Presidency, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, vice-chancellors, student representative bodies and other stakeholders, is expected to report back by the end of November.
On the issue of transformation, Phosa said they are encouraged that the vice-chancellors have shown willingness to transform universities and have also committed to fast-tracking transformation at institutions of higher learning and training, which is long overdue.
Echoing President Zuma’s sentiments on student violence on campuses, Phosa emphasised that student leaders have a responsibility to raise their issues through the proper channels.
“As much as the students have the right to trigger a response to their grievances, they do not have to resort to violence and vandalism, which only leads to the government having to find more money to reconstruct the damaged property. This is retarding progress.”
She also added that access to tertiary education has nothing to do with the protection of language and culture or even politics, but has more to do with capacitating students with quality education, regardless of colour, race or creed, for a better life for all.