The first and most difficult milestone in a student’s life is being
able to register. Most students are deprived access in this first stage due to
financial constraints. The majority of these students are indigent students and
as such qualify for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, however due to
the high volumes of applications and inefficiencies in the scheme’s system,
they are not funded on time. By the time of university registration, they have
not received a response from the scheme and when they receive the response,
often granting the funding, they have already missed the university
Through this type of registration intervention, the university has
been able to register 2290 in 2014; 2265 in 2015; 4069 in 2016 and 5183
students in 2017. These are students whom would have had to go home and not be able to register and study. On top of the general increase in the number of
these students, through the tour alone we can add 1000 more families to these
numbers for 2018.
Why we need to act
Education is a national priority and has a direct or indirect
bearing on every citizen. The current calls for a free and quality education by
the South African student population are legitimate and merely manifest the
pain that has been suffered by our students and their families, particularly
Poverty is also a national crisis, and the best attempt to its
eradication is education, a basic right which many have been deprived of due to
their socio-economic backgrounds.
The subject of Access to higher education should equally be a
national one, through the tour we want to engage every stakeholder of society
behind this subject, currently government’s investment in higher education as a
ratio of total GDP is 0.71%.
The bilateral implication of this is, firstly, the government needs
to as a matter of urgency, stimulate its total spending towards higher
education, secondly that there needs to be a collective nationwide approach.
We hereby request the support of every member of society. We have
the opportunity to collaborate so we can educate one more student who will
enrich their family and uplift the nation.