Education, Featured Article, South Africa

Heher Commission recommends State guaranteed bank loans to fund Education

The fees commission report released by the President yesterday has recommended that all tertiary students in South Africa be given access to State guaranteed bank loans, which they would only pay back once they start earning a certain income.

The Commission of Inquiry into the feasibility of making higher education and training fee-free in South Africa has recommended that all students studying at both public and private universities and colleges — regardless of their family background — be funded through a cost-sharing model of government guaranteed Income Contingency Loans (ICL) sourced from commercial banks.

The commission, headed by Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher, has recommended that through this cost-sharing model, commercial banks issue government guaranteed loans to the students that are payable by the student upon graduation and attainment of a specific income threshold.

“Should the student fail to reach the required income threshold, government bares the secondary liability,” the report reads.

President Jacob Zuma on Monday released the report, which recommends that the existing National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) model be replaced by a new Income Contingency Loan System.

Should government be opposed to this model, the commission recommends that government consider the “Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme”, an Income Contingency Loan Funding Model proposed by the Ministerial Task Team on Funding for Poor, Working Class and Missing Middle Students.

The commission further recommended that government consider the introduction of a university fee capping mechanism to avoid the “cancelling out” effect.

Full Report: