Higher education funding crisis and access: Student protests, UWC#FMF, and social movements
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Inadequate government funding for higher education, a higher education institutional funding crisis, and students’ individual financial crises provoked students in 2015 and 2016 to mobilise themselves to protest against fee increases. Propelled by the #FeesMustFall movement which emerged in 2015, student activists demanded free access to higher education and succeeded in securing increased National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding and a ‘no fee increase’ for 2015 and 2016. The rise of fallist movements such as the #FeesMustFall movement signified new forms of social movements, new ways of mobilisation, and new forms of social movement learning. This chapter focuses on the UWC#FMF movement which emerged at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to protest against the proposed 2015 fee increase prompted by the funding crisis in higher education.