One of the country’s education commentators has blasted the University of Malawi’s (Unima) decision to hike fees for mature entry students.
The commentator, Benedicto Kondowe said the fee hike is not a welcome development considering the hard economic times Malawi is going through.
He wondered whether the institution made some necessary assessment if the raising of the fee is practical under the current situation of economy.
“My own feeling is that the adjustment is quiet high competitively. Much as I do appreciate that the cost of living has gone up to provide that service, the question that one must look at is whether the adjustment takes into account our economic environment.
“And if not careful enough this will serve as a hindrance to accessing education especially if the salary and wage bill is still under the ongoing economic situation implying that most students will end up struggling to pay for the various courses,” explained Kondowe.
He emphasized that it would have been so good if the adjustment were in line with what people are getting from their employers.
However, through its publicist Peter Mitunda, Unima has defended its decision to hike the fees saying most of the students are working and others are engaged in various business activities hence the hike.
“The understanding is that these students were paying highly subsidized fee for their education. You know that these mature students most of them are working, so we want that there should be difference between the general students and the mature entry students,” said Mitunda.
He further said that there will be more documentation from the government on other fees saying they need to be adjusted depending on the type of the course and program and added that some information on this hike will be coming.
The hike which will be effective in the coming academic year, will see mature entry students paying K900,000 at Chancellor College, K950,000 at The Polytechnic, K1 million at Kamuzu College of Nursing and K1.4 million at College of Medicine.