21 May 2021 - NW1087
Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
(1)With the rapid expansion of the tertiary system that was not followed by the implementation of financial support for such an expansion from 1994 to date, (a) what are the reasons that the financial support was not implemented and (b) who made that decision; (2) whether there is a funding model that was ever created and/or revised to cater for the expansion; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
(1) (a) The assumption that the rapid expansion of the tertiary system was not followed by the implementation of financial support is not a true reflection of the interventions that the Department has put in place to try to meet the system expansion. Government’s expenditure goal is to spend 1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product on university education. Given the trajectory seen over the past ten years, this target was achieved during the 2018/19 financial year. However, it is not clear if it will continue to be achieved.
(b) Funding for the university sector is part of the budgetary processes of government and therefore competes with other government priorities such as health, social welfare, etc.
(2) The Department is aware of the systematic challenges and remains committed to being responsive to the constantly changing landscape within the post-school education and training system. The funding model or regulations are updated when the need arises. Post 1994, the Department revised the funding framework (Annexure A) and is in the process to develop a policy framework on fee regulation to manage the funding model accordingly to ensure it remains relevant. A policy review on student funding is also underway as requested by Cabinet.