Students Union welcomes University fees hike. State university students are now expected to pay between $5 000 and $9 000 per semester depending on the programme. The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Unions (ZICOSU) has urged the Government to implement a flexible fees payment plan for students at tertiary institutions to prevent most of them from deferring their studies following recent fee increases.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technological Development released the new tuition fees structure for universities showing that students will pay between $3 500 and $5 000.
There is however, provision for institutions of higher learning to charge operational levies, putting the monies charged beyond the reach of many.
In an interview recently, ZICOSU Secretary-General Mr Tinashe Katsidzire said the increase in fees was justified as there is need to capacitate universities given the prevailing economic situation.
He said there is however need to acknowledge that the reviewed fees are beyond the reach of many hence Government should ensure that students are allowed to register upon payment of at least 30 percent of the required fees so that they are not forced to defer. “The universities could not avoid increasing fees because they need adequate resources to run the institutions.
“The students before the recent tuition fees review were paying as low as $600 per semester which was too little to fund operations,” said Mr Katsidzire. He said since most workers’ salaries were around $2 000 a month, Government should direct universities to allow students to stagger payment of the new fees.
Mr Katsidzire said while the re-introducion of the student loan facility was welcome, it disadvantaged the poor who had no collateral demanded by banks. He said Government needs to introduce grants that are flexible and can be accessed by all as opposed to bank loans.
Last Thursday, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) handed a petition to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira. ZINASU said the announced fees were too high and they need to be reduced to affordable levels.
“What we want is education for all because education is not a privilege according to section 75 of the constitution. “As ZINASU we are very clear on our message that fees must fall. “The general workers in the country are getting an average of $1 023 a month and therefore pegging fees at above $5 000 is an unreasonable move”, said ZINASU.
Source – The Chronicle
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