Included in the changes is the registration fee which is paid before one can register for the academic year. In 2015, all UP students paid R5 000 for registration, while in 2016, international students will have to fork out R20 000 if they are from SADC countries, R40 000 if they are from non-SADC countries and doing coursework studies, while those doing research-orientated master’s or doctoral studies will pay R20 000. Asylum seekers, diplomats, refugees and permanent residents will all pay a registration fee of R20 000. Non-SADC students who are holders of either a study visa or a visitor’s visa are, in addition, expected to pay double the tuition fee, and all international students who are holders of a study visa or a visitor visa will also have to pay an annual fee of R3 000 toward an international levy.

Furthermore, an international student needs to have valid medical aid cover for the prospective full calendar year in order to study in South Africa. This can cost over R4 000 per year, dependent on the medical aid.

Naftal Ndangi Akweenda, a second-year BCom Law student from Namibia, said, “I think it’s ridiculous that the registration fees are increasing by more than double for international students. Most of our parents have more than one child. How can they afford to pay the registration fee, international levy and medical aid, as well as 80% of the fees by April and still be able to afford to pay for our accommodation and food, while also not neglecting their own basic needs and in some cases that of the extended family?”


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