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Wednesday,October 28,2020 14:49 PM

Makerere University raises tuition fees

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th August 2009 03:00 AM

MAKERERE University Council has increased the tuition fees for private students for the new academic year, which opens next week. The council, which sat last month, also set tighter deadlines for the payment of tuition and other fees.

MAKERERE University Council has increased the tuition fees for private students for the new academic year, which opens next week. The council, which sat last month, also set tighter deadlines for the payment of tuition and other fees.

By Francis Kagolo

MAKERERE University Council has increased the tuition fees for private students for the new academic year, which opens next week. The council, which sat last month, also set tighter deadlines for the payment of tuition and other fees.

The tuition increment, which cuts across all courses, is of over sh350,000, according to the university’s new fees structure.

Tuition for Bachelor of Mass Communication, for instance, was increased from sh600,000 to sh980,000 per semester. Bachelor of Commerce increased from sh800,000 to sh1.12m per semester.

Students pursuing Bachelor of Social Sciences will pay sh700,000 per semester, up from sh450,000, while those admitted for Bachelor of Education (Arts) have to part with sh672,000, up from sh450,000. Bachelor of Law will cost sh1.26m, up from sh950,000.

On top of the tuition fee, private students are charged sh363,500 every year as contribution towards the research fund, registration, library, exams, development and technology fees.

Another sh100,000 is charged per semester for internship or field attachment and sh33,000 per academic year for the identity card, academic gown, and the rules and caution book.

The university academic registrar, Amos Olar Odur, yesterday said the fees increment was intended to enable the institution run more efficiently.

“Tuition was increased. This was done by the University Council as per the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act,” Odur said on phone.

He, however, clarified that the increment would not affect continuing students. “We normally don’t make changes that affect students in the middle of their courses,” he explained.

The council, which is the institution’s highest policy and decision-making organ, also resolved that a private student must pay all tuition fees in full at the beginning of the semester or else they lose the vacancy.

“Every privately-sponsored student is obliged to pay all the functional fees and the tuition fees before he/she can be registered and allowed to attend classes as well as being issued with the university identity card,” the council said in a statement.

“Payment of all tuition fees must be completed within three weeks of a semester or else your place will be forfeited to another candidate.”

The resolutions, said a reliable source, were taken to avert a financial crisis which recently prompted the management to seek bank overdrafts to pay staff salaries.

“There was no money to pay the university staff last month. We had to direct the management to apply for an overdraft of over sh4b. The council, therefore, realised it was necessary to increase tuition,” a source told The New Vision.

The 87-year-old university has been cash-strapped since 2006. The council’s repeated applications for increased funding from the Government have been futile.

In 2007, the university operated on a budgetary deficit of over sh40b, forcing the management to use lecturers’ pension funds to pay salaries.

This provoked the academic staff association into a sit-down strike that led to the closure of the university for over two months.

A report by the council’s finance subcommittee, chaired by bursar Ben Byambabzi, last year indicated that the university was at risk of closing down due to a sh50b budget deficit amidst debts.

The committee then suggested a 40% increment in tuition. But the Government blocked the move when the council had just started debating the proposal.

Makerere’s current fees structure was designed in 1996 and had not been reviewed since. The university has been the cheapest in East Africa, according to former vice-chancellor Livingstone Luboobi.

Makerere University raises tuition fees

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