GZU hikes accommodation fees; students union engages ministry for reprieve

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By Clayton Shereni | Masvingo Correspondent

GREAT Zimbabwe University (GZU) has announced new accommodation fees for the upcoming semester which is set to commence early next month with students having to pay not less than US$200.

The institution which has campus residence in Masvingo and Mashava is charging US$220 per head for shared rooms in Mashava whilst for those in town have to part with US$230.

For single rooms, students will pay US$280 compared to last semester’s ZW$25 000 and ZW$30 000 for double and single room respectively.

Students from other countries were directed to pay only in hard currency whilst locals can pay at the prevailing interbank market rate.

Foreign students will have to fork out US$300 and US$400 for shared and single rooms respectively.

Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) president Pijiwest Nhamburo told they are engaging the higher and tertiary education ministry to review the hikes.

“Our mandate as a students’ representative body is to represent the interests of students so we have since written to the ministry of higher and tertiary education to review these escalating tuition and accommodation fees at tertiary institutions because most of us, our parents are civil servants and these fees are out of their reach.

“We have engaged the ministry before and we hope they will give us a favourable response as usual,” said Nhamburo.

GZU director of information Anderson Chipatiso said students are required to pay fees in full but stressed that the university has a department which is ready to attend to students with pleas.

“Normally the accommodation fee is paid in full but we have a students affairs division. If a student has a peculiar case they can approach the division which will attend to his or her case,” Chipatiso said.

Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) president Benon Ncube was not picking up calls made to his mobile.

However, ZINASU is on record accusing tertiary institutions of not being rational in making critical decisions.

This move by GZU follows another hike last month by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) which pegged accommodation fees at US$616 up from ZWL$71 000 the previous semester.