University of Zimbabwe has hiked accommodation fees from $71 000 to US$616 or the equivalent in local currency for the August to December semester.
Accommodation fees for the semester that ended on July 22 were equivalent to US$350.
In a notice seen by NewsDay, UZ acting registrar Munyaradzi Madambi advised students that the payment is due on July 31.
“Those who have been offered on-campus accommodation for the August-December semester are required to pay the accommodation fees amounting to US$616 or its ZWL interbank rate equivalent at the time of payment,” Madambi wrote.
“The university has, therefore, maintained the rate of accommodation fees at US$5,50 per day or its Zimbabwe dollar equivalent for a 112-day semester. As you are aware, the university has now changed its accommodation allocation policy, giving students the opportunity to apply for accommodation for the subsequent semester at the end of each semester. Those who do not take up their offers on or before the above-mentioned deadline will have their provisionally allocated rooms revoked and extended to other students on the waiting list.”
Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president Benon Ncube said the fee hike was unjustified.
“The accommodation fee hike is not justified because this is a government institution. US$616 is too much considering that many parents who send their children to universities get paid in local currency,” Ncube said.
“These fee hikes remain the biggest problem hindering students from completing studies. As it stands, rentals off campus are ranging from US$70 to US$150 per head per month. They have also gone up to the extent that most students would not be able to afford.”
A survey by NewsDay revealed that other universities have not yet reviewed their accommodation fees for the forthcoming semesters.
Great Zimbabwe University’s accommodation fees was $30 000 for the semester ending on Friday, Midlands State University ($25 000), while Chinhoyi University of Technology’s was equivalent to US$120.