Solusi University students are up in arms with the university management for increasing fees mid-semester at a time when students are struggling to pay outstanding fees before they sit for the mid-semester examinations.
The university reportedly increased fees to US$1000.
The Institution has also notified students that they will only be eligible to sit for the upcoming mid-semester examinations upon payment of the minimum required tuition and fees.
The students who spoke to CITE revealed that the fees have been increased twice this year.
“On the 1st of August 2022, the university released the second semester 2022 fees structure and for undergraduate studies, it was pegged at US$725 or equivalent in RTGS. On the 29th of September, the University sent emails advising students of the fee hike from US$725 to US$1 000. On the same note the University advised all those who had cleared their fees to top up from US$725 to US$1 000 barely a month after announcing the second semester 2022 fees structure,” said one student leader.
The increase came at a time when the students were struggling to clear up the US$725.
“The students have tried several times to engage the Institution but to no avail. The Institution is nonresponsive and does not have any interest in addressing the students’ concerns. This scenario has become a well-known culture in the Institution,” he said.
The student leader said attempts to raise the issue with the University authorities have fallen on deaf ears
“A number of students have expressed incapacitation to pay the fees demanded but even so, their word is final. To make matters worse a number of students receive online education but it leaves a lot to be desired on how the institution can justify the fees hike due to increased cost of delivering the educational services to students,” said the student leader.
“You will be using your own data not even Institution WIFI but such things are not considered, how can we pay double what other universities are paying and the services are even not efficient, if you pay fees it takes time to reflect on your portal and for them to update, you really have to struggle to make follow-ups.”
Contacted for a comment, Kumbirai Mkanganwi from Solusi University Public Relations Office confirmed the developments.
“We can confirm that fees were raised through an action of our University Council in its sitting on the 27th of September 2022, which was communicated to the students on the 4th of October 2022. The students indeed expressed their displeasure and an assembly was convened where both students and administration were in attendance and had a discussion on the subject with both parties expressing their views openly. It was agreed that further consultations/meetings will be convened to continue with the dialogue,” said Mkanganwi
He said the reason for the increase in fees was due to the rising cost of doing business and the provision of the requisite services to students.
“The students were given several payment plans of which the student is free to choose the plan that best suits them. This is because the University Administration is alive to the fact that it may not be easy for all our students to pay 100% of the fees in a single instalment/transaction owing to different challenges. The hope is that by the time we get to the final examinations the student will have been able to pay the fees in full.”
Mkanganwi added that the university is currently offering face-to-face classes (for the majority) with blended classes for their Bi-mester centres.
“The mode of delivery for our online classes varies from lecturer to lecturer but our assessment, assignment and examination system (Moodle) is the same for everyone and it is fully supported by our ICT department. This means that any challenges with the system are dealt with promptly so that we may offer the best possible service in that area. This is an international platform customised to suit our needs,” said Mkanganwi.