The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a mechanism by which price inflation or deflation on various commodities, products and services is determined. In the process of reviewing public universities’ funding framework in 2012, the Ministerial Review Committee hypothesised that price increases could be impacting the higher education sector differently due to supply and demand factors surrounding the types of goods and services that universities typically deal in. In 2013, the then Higher Education South Africa (HESA) commissioned a study to determine price inflation as it pertained to the university sector. By interrogating expenditure patterns of the 18 public universities that submitted usable data from 2011-2013, as well as the 2014 budget figures of same, the average price index score for these universities was found to be 7,5% – a reading significantly higher than the 2013 CPI of 5,7%. The HEPI therefore strengths USAf’s argument for more adequate funding for universities.
Click here for the Executive Summary of the HEPI study.