Govt mulls grants scheme for private universities

HARARE - Government is working towards availing grants for private tertiary institutions to alleviate the plight of students, a Cabinet minister has said.

Speaking at the 18th graduation ceremony at Solusi University in Bulawayo, Olivia Muchena, Higher and Tertiary Education minister, said despite the economic hitches the country was going through, her ministry was setting in motion plans to resume the abandoned student grant system.

“The student grant system is a good initiative by the government, meant to benefit those in tertiary institutions,” she said at the Sunday graduation ceremony.

“Although it was abandoned several years ago, the ministry and government are working towards restoring the initiative.”

Muchena said private institutions will  be included in the government scheme, which in the past benefitted state universities only.

“As we all know, the country has been going through economic hardships and the scheme had to be abandoned,” she said.

“However, we have already rolled the wheels in motion and private universities will benefit from the scheme also,” she told the cheering graduands.

The grant system was scrapped about a decade ago due to an economic crisis.

At the moment, most state-owned universities do not have the grant system, but government helps students pay their fees through a cadetship scheme.

Private universities do have their own fees aid structures in place, independent of the government.

Micah Choga, Solusi University chancellor, capped 448 graduands who join a myriad of other graduates struggling to find formal employment.

Isis Mwale, a Harare-based economic analyst, told the Daily News that Muchena’s utterances were “impractical”.

“We all know there is no way the government is going to fund grants, they just do not have the money.

“This is just a matter of cheap politicking,” Mwale said.

The Higher and Tertiary Education minister also recommended that the Seventh Day Adventist-run private institution upgrade 13 of its degrees to honours degrees.

Comments (2)

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CARTRIDGEGALLERY - 18 March 2014

These f*ckn politicians...and Solusi Univ graduates clapped hands after hearing that!!! vry pitiful

Master Cde - 18 March 2014

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