Students pressure forces Makerere University council to review the 15% cumulative tuition policy
Makerere University management has bowed down to pressure from students and revised the 15 per cent cumulative tuition policy, after student’s protests against the policy reached its heights on Tuesday 29, October 2019.
The protest against the 15 per cent tuition and functional fee increment policy over the next five years that started on Tuesday 22, October, paralysed business at the oldest University in Uganda and surrounding businesses for more than a week.
The policy was approved by the University Council, the overall governing body of the institution in July 2018.
Student’s say; the reason why they embarked on a protest against the policy, is because it was unfair policy, the University was making education very expensive at Makerere University, yet, it’s a public university meant to be accessed and afforded by anyone.
The University Council, however, in an emergency meeting held on Tuesday 29, agreed to delete the instituted policy for the next three years to come.
“The 15 per cent adjustment in fees shall not apply to functional fees for the remaining period of implementation of fees structure adopted in July 2018. Functional fees shall be capped at the rate applied on the admission cohort for 2019/2020 academic year, for the next three years,” the statement signed by Lorna Magara, the council chairperson and Yusuf Kiranda, the council secretary reads in parts.Tweet
But, the University Council maintained that for the remaining three years’ period, tuition fees increment of 15 per cent, will continue.
The statement adds that for the last 13 years, Makerere had not increased fees. This was the first increment in the last 13 years of business.
In the Council’s justifications, the university is in a financial crisis that had made it hard to operate university business, as a result of economic circumstances prevailing in Uganda.
Further, the University Council ordered an investigation following allegations that the Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, Gordon Murangira and the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, engaged in battering students and sanctioning army raids, at the university campus.
In the investigation into the alleged battering and threatening of students against the two top university officials, a four-member select committee has been instituted to conduct the inquiry.
This includes; Stephen Kagoda, Jolly Uzamukunda Karabaya, Dan Fred Kidega and Fredrick Kitoogo.
“That the allegation of threatening and battering students are taken seriously and need to be investigated. The chairperson of the council needs to communicate the matters of alleged threatening and battering of students to the VC,” the council’s statement further stated.Tweet
The committee also resolved that the student disciplinary committee should handle the issue of suspended students within two weeks, and if it fails within the given period, the students will be permitted to sit for their exams and after, the committee will continue.
The emergency meeting was scheduled after the students’ protests climaxed on Tuesday 29, following a clash between the university management and students’ leaders in a meeting held on Monday 28, October 2019, on the issue of tuition increment.
In this meeting, the two parties failed to agree on the issue of 15 per cent cumulative tuition policy, Makerere university management vowed not to decline the policy, and the students as well vowed to continue the protests, if management refuses to scrap the policy.
This brought the attention of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who telephoned Magara and Julius Katerega, the University Guild on Tuesday morning, requesting them to sit and resolve the issue. on Tuesday morning.
That was not enough for the President, he also commanded military Police to withdraw their services at the university campus through the Senior Presidential Press Secretary, Don Wanyama.
“President Museveni has urged all stakeholders in Makerere University to dialogue and resolve whatever contradictions exist around the fees conundrum. This morning the president has spoken to the university council chair and the guild president, urging them to meet. He has also ordered the withdrawal of the military police from the university. The Uganda police will maintain law and order,” Wanyama statement posted on his social media platform.Tweet