The University of Malawi (UNIMA) council has refused to bow down to students’ demand on the decision of fees hike to generic and mature entry students.
The development comes at a time when university students staged vigils at university offices in Zomba to force the council to reverse the decision of hiking fees in the public universities.
During a meeting with university students leadership held on Monday, UNIMA Vice-Chancellor John Saka said the council will not reverse the fees hike decision.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the council accused the students of presenting arguments that lack “empirical justifications”. The council disclosed that those that can manage to pay the hike are the ones to be enrolled in the public universities of the country.
The UNIMA council argued that government has been lenient by offering needy students in paying for their tuition through loans.
It added that UNIMA has external scholarships offered to the students that carters for needy students in high education institutions of Malawi.
According to the council, Chancellor College has 140, College of Medicine has 225, Kamuzu College of Nursing has 434 and Polytechnic has 229 external scholarships offered to students.
However, University of Malawi Students Union President Tionge Sikwese said they are to continue holding vigils at the UNIMA offices.
“Right now we are waiting for our friends from Polytechnic who are writing exams, we hope they are to join us soon,” said Sikwese.
The students suggested that no hike of fees should be made to generic students while the mature entry fees should go high with only 30 percent. Government approved a hike of fees from K270,000 to its first year students.
Following the hike, students joining The Polytechnic will have to pay K380,000 while those that will be starting their tertiary academic journey at Chancellor College will be required to pay K320,000.
The students selected to pursue their studies at College of Medicine will be the worst hit as they will be demanded to pay K500,000 while their colleagues in the health sector at Kamuzu College of Nursing will be paying K340,000.