Higher, Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira has justified the recent tuition fee increase at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) arguing that the government is already subsidising tertiary education in the country.
The UZ hiked fees by more than 700 per cent, with students now expected to pay an equivalent of US$1 000 per semester.
Speaking at a Press conference on Thursday as he welcomed a Russian Federation delegation that is set to tour the country’s tertiary institutions, Murwira said:
If only we could compare Zimbabwe with southern Africa, we have a relatively lower level of fees. I am avoiding saying the word cheap because we are subsidising higher education.
If we were not subsiding, it would be around US$10 000. The issue with the UZ is that they met on August 18 and they agreed on the fees that they are going to charge. Let’s separate politics (from) education. We are not going to entertain that.
The tuition fee hike sparked protests at the UZ’s Mt Pleasant campus that resulted in 19 students being arrested early this week.
UZ Students Representative Council (SRC) spokesperson Takunda Gift Chinoda denied claims that there was an agreement on the new fee structure. He said:
As SRC we want to distance ourselves from the claim by the administration that we agreed on the 30% US dollar increment of fees.
The administration justified the fee hike whereas SRC disagreed.
Chinoda called on students to continue putting pressure on UZ authorities to reverse the fee increment. | NewsDay