Govt says No to varsity fee hikes

    Harare – GOVERNMENT has warned universities against raising fees with without its approval, amid reports that some varsities countrywide had yesterday attempted to unilaterally hike fees.

    Universities increased fees for parallel and block students, leaving out conventional ones whose public outcry usually draws attention.

    Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira yesterday said fees for all undergraduate categories remain unchanged.

    “All fees to do with undergraduate studies have not been increased as such communication passes through my office. I have not signed an ordinance to that effect.

    “Fees remain the same until we put alternative payment methods as currently we are working on introducing grants. As for the undergraduates, there is no compromise except for post-graduate, there is that leverage since it is optional,” he said.

    The minister said despite people being under pressure financially, universities should not be careless by wantonly hiking fees.

    Lupane State University (LSU) director marketing and public relations Zwelithini Dlamini said they had proposed a fees increase for self-financing programmes.

    “We are proposing a 20 percent fees increase for parallel and block programmes. The lecturers should be paid from the fees and any other cost thereof.

    “This will be approved by the parent minister through the fees ordinance,” he said.

    Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)director of information and public relations Mr Anderson Chipatiso said their fees remained unchanged.

    “In terms of our fees structure nothing changes. We are a public institution and we our operations are guided by the parent ministry,” he said.

    Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) spokesperson, Dr Tapera Musekiwa said they are yet to conduct fees review.

    “Our fees are determined at Government level. We have not increased fees because the fees review committee is the one that sits down first and deliberate on the issue before it submits to university council.

    “After justifying their move to the council it then deliberates also and submit to the parent ministry,” he said.

    Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) Director Public Relations, Mr James Gutura said their fees also remain unchanged.

    Midlands State University which had reportedly hiked fees from about $800 to $2 000 yesterday had their Information and Public Relations Director Miriam Mawere not forthcoming despite numerous attempts to get in touch with her.

    “Kindly refer to the notice on our website. In the meantime may you please put your questions in writing, I am in a meeting but will respond soon after the meeting,” said Mrs Mawere.

    Contacted further she acknowledged having received the questions and promised to answer within a short space of time which she never did until the time of going to print.

    Further contacted Mrs Mawere just said: “I am now on my way from the meeting will get back to you shortly.”

    The Herald

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