In the wake of the #FeesMustFall protests last year, South Africans have answered the call for solutions to rising university fees.
In November, business and technology innovation organisation, Innocentrix, launched the #FeesMustFall Ideas Challenge in response to the protests that took place in the previous month.
The aim of the challenge was to source ideas on how to create an affordable and sustainable future for higher education in South Africa.
The challenge was open to all members of the public with a cash prize of R10 000 in store for the best idea selected from the pool of submissions.
Ideas were reviewed by a panel judges who then narrowed it down to the following top 10:
- Striking a deal with telecoms companies to offer free internet for access to educational sites. State and private sector to subsidise computers
- Using a certain percentage of tax money to be allocated to university education funding
- Hosting lectures via free webinars and MOOCs at public and institution libraries
- Giving all South Africa’s top performing students full bursaries
- Introducing cloud computing in universities’ systems to easily leverage the benefits of cloud for academic research,course work, teaching and doing individual projects
- Allowing students to list their business on an online platform where government, consumers and universities can source students’ services and/or buy their products
- Getting students to work for the state after graduating and having their service compensate for university fees
- Creating crowdfunding platforms (this was listed two separate times in the top ten)
Now, it’s up to the public to decide which idea wins the cash prize and gets submitted to government as a proposal for consideration. You can vote for your favourite idea on the Innocentrix website.Voting closes this Sunday, 14th February.
Online methods seem to be a dominant trend among the top ten solutions, although not all may be quite practical should they be put into place. So far, the national service idea is leading the pack with 137 votes.
“We at Innocentrix believe that many challenges that we face locally can be solved through innovation, collaboration and co-creation. The submitted ideas have the potential to generate real and positive change in higher education, both here and internationally,” the company said.
[Image – CC by Ian Barbour]