The changing face of public financing of higher education, with special reference to South Africa

Higher education displays characteristics of both private and public goods and there is a trend worldwide to expect individuals to pay more of the costs of their higher education. In South Africa public funding of higher education decreased from 0.86 percent of GDP in 1986 to only 0.66 percent in 2006. First, the authors explore the profitability of investment in education and pay attention to the expenditure on higher education worldwide. Next, they examine the impact of lower relative public spending on higher education in South Africa, in terms of the resources of higher education institutions, student debt, qualifications awarded to students, and research activities at higher education institutions. Finally, the authors develop future scenarios of government funding of higher education in South Africa. They conclude that there are indications that it is becoming increasingly difficult for lecturers to maintain their teaching and research activities at higher education institutions. Presently, research is suffering, but academic standards in respect of teaching could also be jeopardized. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Title: The changing face of public financing of higher education, with special reference to South Africa
Authors: De Villiers, Pierre
Steyn, Gert
Year: 2007
Periodical: South African Journal of Economics
Volume: 75
Issue: 1
Pages: 136-154
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
External link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2007.00110.x/pdf
Abstract: Higher education displays characteristics of both private and public goods and there is a trend worldwide to expect individuals to pay more of the costs of their higher education. In South Africa public funding of higher education decreased from 0.86 percent of GDP in 1986 to only 0.66 percent in 2006. First, the authors explore the profitability of investment in education and pay attention to the expenditure on higher education worldwide. Next, they examine the impact of lower relative public spending on higher education in South Africa, in terms of the resources of higher education institutions, student debt, qualifications awarded to students, and research activities at higher education institutions. Finally, the authors develop future scenarios of government funding of higher education in South Africa. They conclude that there are indications that it is becoming increasingly difficult for lecturers to maintain their teaching and research activities at higher education institutions. Presently, research is suffering, but academic standards in respect of teaching could also be jeopardized. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]