No ‘massive’ university fee hikes: Govt

05 Jan, 2020 - 00:01 0 Views
No ‘massive’ university fee hikes: Govt

The Sunday Mail

Sharon Munjenjema

Government has assured parents and students in higher learning institutions that it will not approve massive fee increases during a review process scheduled for this month.

While the academic institutions have made proposals ranging from $9 000 to $16 000 for various levels of degrees per semester, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira maintained the fees would be pegged at “sensible” levels.

The Midlands State University (MSU) has since advised some of its returning students of proposed new fees-structure for the semester beginning February.

Fees for undergraduate degrees are ranging from $9 000 to $12 500 while master students have been advised that they might pay amounts between $12 750 and $16 500 per semester.

Some doctoral students at the institution might have to fork out a massive $51 000 per semester.

Last month, a proposal for Great Zimbabwe University undergraduate fees circulated with fees pegged at $12 600.

But Professor Murwira said Government would not allow a situation where universities hike fees to ‘ridiculous rates beyond the reach of many’.

Speaking to The Sunday Mail, the minister said: “None of what is being circulated on social media is true. As we promised, I said there will be no fees review in 2019, but in 2020.

“The review has not yet been done, but it will be this January. Fees will be reviewed to a sensible rate.”

Minister Murwira said Treasury had poured funds to the pool of Government student loans to ensure Zimbabweans had access to tertiary education.

“We are offering loans for those students who cannot afford. We were given an extra $25 million from the fiscus to fund Government loans,” he said.

“We had around $40 million initially. Our ambition is to have $100 million secured for student loans.”

The loans are being availed through CBZ or at the various State universities countrywide.

Last year Government secured $40 million for a revolving fund for loans to cushion underprivileged students.

Other parallel loan schemes from private institutions are also still running.

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