‘Make fees payment plans, students never barred from studying due to delayed or insufficient fees,’ says UZ registrar

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By Staff Reporter

The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has stuck to its guns, insisting the new tuition fees structures would remain, while students failing to raise the requisite money should approach the institution to agree payment plans.

The institution of higher learning has refused to back down to protests by learners pushing for a downward review of recently introduced fees structure, which they described as “exorbitant.”

UZ authorities have instead told “needy” students to come up with a payment plan.

In a notice weekend, Acting Registrar, Munyaradzi Madambi told students that the only reprieve UZ was offering was a payment plan, which is accompanied by tight deadlines.

“In response to submissions by our students the university has introduced the following flexible fees payment plans. Students that cannot pay full fees are required to pay last semester’s fees and proceed to register before 30 September 2022,” said Madambi.

He said the tertiary institution was conducting a “Means Test” to identify needy students with the view to tailor appropriate support mechanisms according to ‘students’ circumstances.

“As you would recall, no student has ever been barred from studying or sitting for examinations because of either delayed or incomplete payment of fees,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the following student-centred fees payment options have been introduced for the convenience of our students.

“Those who pay 100% of fees by 31st of October 2022 enjoy a 12,5 % discount. Those who pay 75% of fees by 31st October 2022 enjoy a 10% discount on the amount paid. Those who pay 50% of fees by 31st October 2022 enjoy a 5% discount of the amount paid.

“All outstanding fees balance should be cleared by 30th November 2022. Over and above the interventions, the University has also introduced the Work Study Programme to cater for needy students,” he said.

The varsity increased fees by more than 1 000 percent from ZWL $50 000 to half a million Zimbabwean dollars.

This means students will be forced to fork out over US$1 000 in an economy, where most workers are still earning in the local currency.

The latest fees increase saw protests at campus last week, a development that resulted in the arrest of nearly 20 students’ leaders.

The institution has castigated the demonstrations.

“Finally, you are urged to remain focused on your studies to avoid loss of time. You are further urged to grow a culture of dialogue and peaceful engagement in order to protect the integrity and reputation of your institution, as well as the credibility of your qualifications,” Madambi added.

Higher Education Minister, Amon Murwira has maintained the fees hikes were justified, arguing local varsities currently charge affordable tuition fees as compared to their regional counterparts.