The Free Education Planning Group is currently undertaking it’s second round of research to explore options for free higher education. Following the Fees Must Fall protests of 2015/16, the group, which comprises students, parents and staff, emerged from an agreement between UCT’s executive and students. Its aim is to explore the viability of free university education through a student-led research and awareness raising initiative, which according to the group’s current student research chair, Ihsaan Bassier, is just as much about shifting the traditionally elite research and engagement techniques towards popular education methods.
With the initial round of research concluded, the group presented its first report, a review of funding options, Protesting Policy: Interrogating Free Decolonised Higher Education Funding, to a packed audience of students and staff at Jameson Hall in late June.
SALDRU’s researchers, Ariane De Lannoy and Nicola Branson supported the research team as advisors during its first phase of research. They have handed the baton to SALDRU’s chief research officer, Vimal Ranchhod, who is working in an advisory capacity to the team during its second phase of research, currently underway. The Poverty and Inequality Initiative, led by SALDRU’s director, Murray Leibbrandt, also provided administrative support to the group. SALDRU is pleased to be in a position to offer support to this important initiative.
Ihsaan, a SALDRU research assistant for the past two years, leaves UCT in a few days to take up a scholarship opportunity at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he will pursue a PhD in Economics. SALDRU congratulates him on this brilliant achievement.