By Eliaser Ndeyanale
THE University of Namibia council last week resolved to increase 2017 tuition, registration and residence fees by five percent.
The hike in registration fees will see Unam realising revenue of an average N$131 million annually from its 20 000 students.
An official document from the country’s biggest university titled ‘Fees notice to all students for registration 2017’ seen by Confidente shows that the cash-strapped university will increase its fees, already deemed exorbitant, considering that there has been no fees increase this year on a directive from the Minister of Higher Education.
The document dated December 2, shows as of next month the registration fees for the local student is N$6 550, Sadc students would pay N$ 14 150 and for the non Sadc students N$24 150 for registration.
Late registration is expected to increase from the current N$500 to N$600. Unam council chairperson Sam Shivute has also confirmed to Confidente that the University’s tuition fees for the 2017 academic year will be increased by five percent.
“The University of Namibia’s tuition fees for the 2017 academic year will be increased by 5% … as approved at a special University Council Meeting held on 29 November 2016,” said Shivute.
The University council has decided to increase residence fees for Namibian and Sadc students who reside at the Windhoek campus (main campus), Ogongo, Neudam, Jose Edward Dos Santos and Sam Nujoma campuses to N$10 770 while non-Sadc will pay N$ 17 830.
For the Hifikepunye Pohamba, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Southern campuses the residence fees for the local and Sadc students will increase to N$6 540, non-Sadc will pay N$ 9 360 while for the Namibian and Sadc students studying or wish to study for health sciences, residence fees have increased to N$13 370 while the non-Sadc would be paying N$ 29 610.
The documents further stated that all outstanding fees should be paid in full before registration starts.
“Wear and tear fees of N$1000 (non-refundable) is payable before or on day of registration. Hostel fees is payable upfront on the day of registration at the beginning of each semester.
Unam student, Henny Seibeb rejected the university’s decision to increase fees saying it should first look at the economic dilemma of the country. “They should have considered the economic climate in the country even the business climate in the country and other Sadc countries is not good, people are struggling,” Seibeb said, adding that the increase in fees will compromise skills transfer.
Contacted for comment on Tuesday, Higher Education Minister Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi did not say much besides that fees are decided at institutional level. Unam’s communications and marketing department also declined to comment on the matter.
“We will release a media statement to all the media houses, please hang on,” said an official. About two months ago a local daily reported that students owe the institution N$255 million for 2016 alone and students were told to settle their accounts by September 30.
Unam then indicated that it would not to allow students who were in debt to write their upcoming examinations.
Registered students are not the only ones Unam is gunning for; the institution is also taking those who dropped out without finishing their qualifications, owing about N$50 million, to debt collectors.
Early this year student leaders at Unam and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) closed down campuses following the proposal in fees increase by the two leading national institutions. They staged mass protests demanding that university fees be reduced and their debts be written off. During that time NUST vice chancellor Professor Tjama Tjivikua said the university was owed about N$90 million by the Government for the 2015 financial year and student debt stood at N$50 million for the same period
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015