Students protest UZ tuition fee hike

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has criticised the University of Zimbabwe (UZ)’s decision to hike tuition fees starting next semester.

In a statement, Zinasu spokesperson Zivai Mhetu, said the decision to increase fees from $400 to $450 was “unacceptable”.

“Why raise school fees when there has been no upsurge in the price of commodities?” Mhetu queried.

Zinasu also questioned the rationale behind hiking fees, when the country has “extremely low levels of inflation but a very high percentage of low income earners who constitute the bulk of parents of students in State institutions such as UZ.”

In April, Zinasu said at least 12 000 students had dropped out of tertiary institutions due to a debilitating economic crisis.

Mhetu said UZ is a public institution that is supposed to cater for the underprivileged and must come up with relaxed payment plans.

“Even those who are fortunate enough to get their moneys on time are earning way below the poverty datum line. This is just how the country is at the moment.

“The UZ administration should stop acting as if it is unaware of our economic situation and adjust its policies to the realities on the ground,” he said.

He further said that students with no money to pay fees must be allowed to continue with their studies.

“If they fail to clear all their arrears before graduation, institutions can withhold their certificates till they are fully paid up,” Mhetu said, further castigating the amount of money being demanded for one to secure accommodation on campus.

“If anything, the UZ should be bringing down accommodation fees because a room that used to take two students is now taking four because of the bunk beds they recently introduced.

“The UZ administration is proving beyond reasonable doubt that it is insensitive to the plight of students and is unfazed by the insurmountable economic challenges we are facing,” Mhetu said.

University administrators claim that if students cannot meet the new fees, standards could fall, with the government having to resort to subsidies it says it can ill-afford.

Universities say it has been expensive for institutions to afford library books, journals and electronic research equipment that are paid for in dollars.

Comments (6)

i cant imagine professors sitting down n make such a decision whilste the economy is growing to negative infinite.

mateo12 - 15 July 2016

total fees for single semester is around $650 not 400.that zinasu president is not doing his job .yu must enforce a strike to reduce the total fees to 200 . they cant even justify how they arrived at 650.iwe be strong for other poor people.

hyperv - 15 July 2016

This was deliberately done by UZ because their intention is mainly to invite students to take it to the streets against Mugabe and ZANU PF . Rise up students , rise up !!!

Khalabemgeza - 15 July 2016

ZANU PF must go as early as possible .

Khalabemgeza - 15 July 2016

South African students in 1976 rised up against unfairness in education , UZ students are the really people who might rise up and be heard by ZANU PF . We are ready to join them , all sectors are on a high note and ZANU PF must fall .

Khalabemgeza - 15 July 2016

Iwe Deputy Chief Writer of this article don't mislead the public by exaggerating the universities of Zimbabwe's libraries plight in terms of resources available in the university libraries. There is a Consortium of universities libraries in Zimbabwe whose acronym is ZULC which negotiates for e=resources to be availed to students in library universities in Zimbabwe at cheaper and affordable prices and such e resources are being accessed cheaply by university students via the Zimbabwe Universities Libraries Consortium (ZULC) at an affordable opportunity which is commendable Shamwari do thorough home work before putting pen to paper and get your facts CORRECT!

Tonderayi Chanakira - 15 July 2016

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