South Africa’s large racial gap in enrolment in tertiary education can be attributed to the widely varying quality of primary and secondary education rather than to the low incomes of most black and coloured households. Thus, easing credit constraints for prospective tertiary students via increased financial aid is expected to have a limited impact on African and coloured enrolment. Instead, policymakers should focus on improving educational quality at schools attended by children from low-income households.
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Written by David Lam, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Michigan; Cally Ardington, Associate Professor, SALDRU, University of Cape Town; Nicola Branson, Post-doctoral fellow, SALDRU, University of Cape Town; Murray Leibbrandt, Professor, School of Economics and Director: SALDRU, University of Cape Town.
This article was first published on the Econ3x3 website – Accessible policy-relevant research and expert commentaries on unemployment and employment, income distribution and inclusive growth in South Africa.