R6bn boost for higher education

The allocation for higher education is expected to grow from R15.3 billion in the 2008/09 financial year to R21.3 billion in 2011/12.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said that in terms of the provisional Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocation for higher education, the budget is set to grow progressively over the next three years.

Releasing the higher education funding for 2009/10 to 2011/12 early this week, Nzimande said these figures were tentative and subject to confirmation in the budget presentation.

He said provision had been made for earmarked allocations of R39 million for 2010/11 and R41 million for 2011/12 for the National Institutes for Higher Education in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape where exploratory work is being conducted on establishing new universities.

Nzimande has also recommitted his department to reducing the percentage of students who are not subsidised as a consequence of over-enrolment by universities.

Meanwhile, a ministerial task team has recommended that the current policy on the calculation and distribution of teaching development grants be discontinued.

The main recommendations of the task team were that the minister should be able to set the annual amount available for teaching development as a fixed proportion of the total MTEF allocation for teaching outputs.

Nzimande said various other recommendations of the task team have been adapted to a new draft policy, which he wishes to implement in 2011/12.

The minister will seek the advice of the Council for Higher Education before taking a final decision on the implementation of this new policy.

Source: BuaNews

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