By Albert Nxumalo
Local universities and government colleges could be headed for a clash with the state over fees as a directive not to hike above a certain level is routinely ignored.
The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) has announced fee structure for 2020 first semester which will see students paying as much as ZWL10 000.
Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) director of information Anderson Chipatiso is quoted by the media confirming the institution had increased tuition fees for block release students from $1 300 to between $9 600 and $15 000, depending on the degree level.
He said the prevailing economic challenges necessitated the adjustment.
This comes amid reports that Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira directed universities not to charge more than ZWL5000 in accommodation and tuition fees per semester.
Prof Murwira said a total of ZWL90 million had been set aside for student’s loans.
However, that seems not to be obtaining as universities are charging way above governments directive.
According to a ZOU internal memorandum dated 16 January from Director Academic Registry and copied to Vice-Chancellor and all faculty deans, the fee structure varies from local and foreign students and programmes.
The fee breakdown includes and building levy and technology fees.
Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Agriculture will pay ZWL4480.
MBA students in Commerce and Law will fork out ZWL9980 per semester while master’s students in the faculty of Education will part with ZWL9980 per semester.
External Zimbabwean and SADC undergraduate student in the Faculties of Education, Arts Culture and Heritage studies will pay US$725 per semester.
“Kindly be advised that all fees for foreign and international students include tuition and non-academic fees, that is registration fees. The fees for external Zimbabwe students and students in the SADC region is inclusive of a levy of US$200. 00 for a maximum of four courses. Thereafter, a levy of US$50.00 shall be charged for every extra course,” reads part of the memorandum on foreign students.
“All students shall continue to pay a building levy of US$25.00 (every semester) a Technology fee of US$100.00 (every semester) for the other faculties except the Faculty of Technology where students pay US$125.00.
“However, returning students shall continue to pay an SRC fee of US$20.00 every semester while new students shall pay a Caution Fee of US$20.00 and an SRC fee of US$20.00 every semester.”