Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, the Vice Chancellor Kampala International University-KIU, says that with the heavy investments they have made at a time when they are on their knees, they would wish to increase tuition but they are held back by the agreements they made with students during admission, which makes it difficult to alter the fees structure midway.
universities are stuck on whether or not to increase tuition as they move to
embrace Open, Distance and E-Learning-ODEL system to ensure learning under the Covid19
lock down. The universities have made
heavy investments in learning management systems, equipment and software
Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, the Vice Chancellor Kampala
International University-KIU, says that with the heavy investments they have
made at a time when they are on their knees, they would wish to increase tuition
but they are held back by the agreements they made with students during admission,
which makes it difficult to alter the fees structure midway.
He says the matter is due for discussion with students before
a final decision is made.
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Professor Maud Kamatenesi Mugisha, the Vice-Chancellor Bishop Stuart University
notes that although the institutions are currently financially weak, they shouldn’t
transfer the weight on continuing students as the ODEL system is a long-lasting
He observes that Bishop Stuart University might
not hike or offer a reduction of tuition for continuing students. Professor Rev. Fr. John Chrysostom Maviri, the Vice Chancellor Uganda Martyrs’
University notes that the issue of tuition is under review.
He says the University
will soon carry out an assessment to understand the unit cost of each programme
on e-learning, which will inform their decision whether to increase or decrease
tuition for continuing students. He reveals that they have already resolved to scrap off some
to scrap off some functional fees at the moment.
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Prof. Maviiri says there is need for government to provide low-interest
rates to universities, which are financially stressed to avoid transferring the
pressure to students. He says they have already suggested some of the ways this
can be achieved under their forum of private universities.
However, some universities like Victoria university have already taken a bold
decision to shoulder the burden and give their students a 50 percent discount. Policy
analysts and educationists have already advised government to scrap the Over
the Top Tax –OTT for social media users and zero rate education platforms like
university websites as one of the means to make e-learning effective and
Allen Nakakembo, a student at Uganda Martyrs’ University-
Nkozi, argues that there should be a reduction in fees given the fact that
students will no longer be using university facilities and will also incur costs
of acquiring software and data bundles for connection.
“I don’t see why we should pay the same amount as we did during the face to
face lectures. We are also incurring costs. The Internet is expensive. imagine
if you are to spend two hours on each of the six units in a week, you will
require not less than 20 GB. That is already more than Shillings 80,00s per
week,” Nakakembo observed.
She asked universities to reduce the tuition and shrink nonessential
expenditures at the campus since students will not there. Joel Masagazi, a
member of the ODEL development committee at Uganda Christian university, says
tuition remains a big issue to the university management.
“We are yet to get approved for this ODEL system. but after being approved the
next thing to be looked at will certainly be tuition. It is a critical matter
and has been left for the council to decide and we are hoping that whatever
they decide will be a favor to other the university and the students,” says