Find and fund the talent

Regular as clockwork, universities announce their new fees before exams at this time of year and students maraud through campuses.

Regular as clockwork, universities announce their new fees before exams at this time of year and students maraud through campuses.

Instead of preparing themselves for the exams, the poor kids protest about fees that rise faster than inflation.

Meanwhile, our government trots out empty slogans such as "Education for all" and cuts a little more from stretched education budgets.

Institutions of higher learning face ever greater national demands. Students fees are one of the few means they have of raising income, so up go the fees yet again.

Too many South Africans have been conned into believing that housing, healthcare and education will automatically be granted to the needy. But poor citizens' unfulfilled expectations are the main source of dissatisfaction with our polity.

Instead of wringing our hands about the inadequate delivery of social services, maybe it's time for a new paradigm. Let us guarantee free education up to tertiary level for all students who show the special academic abilities our society needs.

Education, healthcare and housing are the main unfulfilled promises of the democratic dispensation, but the whole nation benefits from the advanced education we do provide the chosen few.

We should decide what we can afford, and set it aside for anyone who can sustain the academic requirements for designated qualifications.

X