Makerere University MasterCard Foundation
MasterCard Foundation threatens to end aiding to MAK over strikes. File Photo

Makerere University: MasterCard Foundation threatens to end aiding in case striking becomes a habit

The MasterCard Foundation in Toronto has released a statement condemning the violent protests by Makerere University students against the 15% tuition policy.

Following a two week strike by students that culminated into some getting serious injuries while others were also suspended by the University, MasterCard Foundation has released a statement expressing their concerns towards the persistent strikes at the institution.

In the same statement, MasterCard also indicates that they are not by any means in support of violence and are determined to collaborate with the University to ensure there is peace.

“MasterCard Foundation is deeply concerned about the violence taking place at Makerere University surrounding the student protests related to the fees structure at the university,” the statement read.

“The foundation (MasterCard) supports freedom of expression and believes in civil discourse. The foundation does not condone violence in any situation.”

Protests by students arise from the fact that they believe the increment was signed without their proper consent.

Although the University management accepted to remove the 15% on functional fees, the students still insist that they want the policy removed also on the tuition.

On 29th October 2019, the University Council held an emergency meeting and decided to halt any further increment on functional fees, but kept the 15% increase on tuition fees for the next three years.

This decision was apparently not acceptable to a section of the students and a few of them till today have continued with their riots mostly off-campus. 

According to the students, this policy is very unfair not only to those on government but also those on private sponsorship who have to toil hard to get their tuition.

However, MasterCard is determined to actively engage with student leaders at the University and members of the Scholars Program Implementation Team to better understand why they are constantly striking.

MasterCard Foundation is an organization that offers scholarships to the underprivileged to be in a position to attain education at various Universities and institutions including Makerere.

It is initiated by the MasterCard Foundation in Toronto, Canada. Earlier this year, the Foundation awarded the last batch of its scholarships at Makerere University with a total of 432 scholarships.

94% of the scholarships were to Ugandans by either birth of other criteria and only 6% went to other international students from countries like Burundi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Cameroon among others.

By John Dalton Kigozi