Makerere University administration clarifies on the current fees policy now being contested by the students
Following a two day strike, that has seen many students being suspended, Makerere University administration has released a clarification of the current fees policy highlighting that there is no fees increment as stated by the students.
Earlier this week, a group of students from the University attempted a march to the office of the President Yoweri Museveni to present a petition requesting him to scrap the new 15 per cent tuition policy that they claim was signed illegally last year.
However, they were blocked by the police on their way including arresting of more than 20 students and released them later that evening on police bond.
According to the students, the unfair policy was signed without first consulting the student’s something they claim is now a hindrance to them particularly those on private sponsorship who have to toil hard to get money to pay their tuition and other University expenses.
However, the University has released a clarified document on the current fees policy now being contested by the students indicating that there is no tuition increment this academic year.
According to the University, the students continue to pay the fees as per the structure is given to each of them at their time of admission.
The policy being contested by the students was approved and implemented in July 2018 according to the University adding that it was also approved after a thorough report presented by the special committee of the Guild representatives appointed by the Guild leadership whose work started on 4th June 2018.
Makerere University says that the appointed Students Guild committee presented the following recommendations to Council on 6th July 2018 that instead of increasing fees by the tune of 49% and 91% as it were in the earlier Management proposal there should be a uniform and moderate 15% increase in tuition fees across all programmes effective 2018/19 for the next 5 years.
According to the University, this means that a student who joins the University at a given fees structure that has a 15% factored in, shall continue to pay similar fees until he completes the Course duration.
While the Visitation Committee recommended that Public Universities should charge a unit cost per program, our Committee has only considered a reasonable and moderate 15% to cater for annual inflation. This was mainly considering our unique social and economic conditions as a country according to the University administration.
The University agreed to have only an increment of 15% applying only to the first-year students (effective 2018/19) going forward and not continuing students.
They also agreed that there should be a feedback framework where all matters/policies that affect students are discussed by student leaders beyond the two student representatives that sit on the Council and its Committees.
Also, the Guild President and his Vice should be allowed more participation on committees of Council that relate to student issues including quality assurance and student welfare committees.
Also that the revenue accruing from the above proposal if approved and implemented should reflect a change in student services especially in areas of student hygiene, Laboratory facilities, teaching facilities, WiFi, health services and customer care among others.
By John Dalton Kigozi