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To be free, or not to be free. That is the question.
Over the past few years the idea of free education has been thrown around plenty. Mostly by students who, quite rightly so, are angry at the government for its role in the tertiary education crisis. But the ‘free education’ concept is not as simple or as favourable as one might think.
Free education privileges the rich
Dr Nico Cloete, a well respected thought leader in higher education, argues that there is a fundamental flaw in the debate for free education. He says that in fact, free education for all would increase the wealth gap between the rich and poor. Dr Cloete insists that the real long-term solution to the crisis will come from a progressive graduate tax system and a larger budget from government.