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Makerere Student Leaders Recommend 15% Tuition Increment :: Uganda Radionetwork

Makerere Student Leaders Recommend 15% Tuition Increment

Students leaders at Makerere University have recommended a 15 percent tuition fees increment across all courses offered at the institution. This increment is to affect all undergraduate programs starting with the 2018/19 academic year for new students.
Students leaders led by the Guild President Papa Were Salim handover report recommending tuition fees increment to Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council and University management on Monday.

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Makerere University student leaders have recommended a for a 15 percent tuition fees increment across all courses offered at the institution. If it takes effect the increment will affect all undergraduate programs starting with the 2018/19 academic year for new students. 

This recommendation for an increment follows a benchmarking exercise by a team of seven students leaders appointed to study a number of issues that have in the recent past been a cause of students riots ranging tuition increment, and the scrapping of students' meals for the government-sponsored students.

The committee headed by Polly Bandola, a 4th year bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, who is also the chairperson of Mitchel Hall visited the University of Nairobi in Kenya, University of Rwanda, and local Universities of Mbarara University of Science and Technology –MUST, Gulu University and Uganda Christian University –Mukono to compare notes with Makerere University.  

According to Bandola, the Committee Chairperson, student leaders reached a consensus after reviewing a number of University financial documents in addition to reviewing the visitation committee recommendations on the fees issues.  

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The committee noted that the university had not increased its fees on majority of the programs for the last five years. Additionally, the students' leaders discovered that universities like Nairobi University were far ahead in terms of the fees charged to its students.  

According to the fees increment report, a comparison made between similar courses at both Makerere and Nairobi Universities, majority of the courses were incomparable because Makerere was charging way lower fees.  

In some of the selected programs, the report discovered that a bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at Nairobi University was Uganda shillings 17million,  while in Uganda, it was at Uganda shilling 2.6million.  

Bachelor of laws was at Ugx.6.5million for Nairobi University and ugx.2.5million at Makerere. For a Bachelor of Agriculture at Nairobi University currently costs Ugx.5.8million while at Makerere it costs Ugx.2.6millions. 

In April this year, several students including the Guild President were arrested following a strike in protest of what they called ‘unfair administrative policies'. 

The student's unrest was after council increased tuition for some selected programs for the 2018/19 academic year including Bachelor of Journalism and Communication, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. 

Students claimed they had not been consulted by the time the increment was announced. According to Bandola, students want more representation on the university committee that often makes policies that affect students.

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Students have however agreed that instead of the university increasing fees to a tune of 49 and 91 percent as it in an earlier management proposal, that there should be a moderate uniform increment of 15 percent for the next five years.  

This, however, means that a student who joins the university at a given fees structure pays the same amount that has factored in a 15 percent until they complete the course duration.  

Marion Kirabo, the Guild Representative Councilor –GRC of the School of Law, however, put to task the University management on ensuring good services to students including stocking the university library and improving on the teaching environment. 

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Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor has described the development as a positive gesture by students arguing that it is a landmark in the development of students' leadership.  

He says students have been reasonable in their recommendations since previously students had been opposed to any increment at all.

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Asked whether students won't rise up against the tuition fees increment, Salim Papa Were, the students' guild president says they have tasked management to ensure value for money in order for them to avoid war with students.

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Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council, the supreme governing body of the institution said he was to summon the council to an emergency meeting to consider the students' recommendations, which is expected before the end of this week.

He, however, cautioned students leaders against going against collective responsibilities on decisions that usually made on issues that touch students.  

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