The Higher Education South Africa report primarily paid attention to funding and systems for tertiary institutions.
The report, by an appointed task team, did not base the study on the practical route of introducing free tertiary education. Hence its failure to present recommendations that address the challenges the country faces, particularly access to tertiary education by poor students.
Without undermining the complexity of the team's scope and capacity, I think it deliberately did not incorporate free education in their problematic statement.
The report warranted a detailed study and well-informed recommendations, but the team failed to provide substantial and detailed background information.
The National Student Finance Aid Scheme (Nasfas), as the vehicle dealing with students' financial needs, rightfully dominates the report. But Nasfas' strength and ability versus access to education and poverty alleviation as the root causes is worrying. It states that limited funds make it impossible to help all needy students, but says nothing about the poor allocation of funds.
The report is silent on loans to undeserving students who pay for private schools, but who are funded when they get to varsity.
Richard Rambiyana, Masisi