During a meeting of the South African Parliament’s portfolio committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology, held on 1 December 2021, Professor Ahmed Bawa, in his position of Chief Executive Officer of Universities South Africa (USAf), identified eight challenges facing South African universities: the continued impact of COVID-19 on higher education; the sustainability of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding (NSFAS); the so-called ‘missing middle’ students, i.e. students who do not qualify for financial aid, but cannot afford fees outright; unpaid student debt; insufficient affordable student accommodation; electrical power instability and loadshedding; social unrest and gender-based violence; and lastly the impact of the faltering South African economy on higher education. In this edition of Perspectives in Education (PiE), the first nine articles focus on challenges faced by students and academic in higher education in South Africa.
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