…students divided on amount of fees to pay
Students at the Polytechnic, a constituent college of University of Malawi (UNIMA),could afford a smile now as the date of the college’s opening has been revealed by the University Council.
According to the Council, the college opens its doors on 30th January 2017.
Its delay to open came about due to a heightened stand off on the fees hike which the council announced earlier last year.
Students at the college vowed not to pay the hiked fees, which will see them paying K350,000 each, arguing that they are one year behind on the academic calendar.
The students took the matter to court challenging management’s decision to introduce the new fees structure during the current academic year a development that saw court agreeing to the students’ reasoning.
However, Polytechnic management challenged the ruling by court as they argued that the college needs money for provision of quality university education standards but they were unsuccessful again on their wish of having the students pay new structures of fees.
At the moment, Malawi24 understands that the students will be required to pay the new structure something which does not go in line with an initial court ruling.
The High Court in Blantyre had in December 2016 ruled in favour of students in the fees hike case involving Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) and the University council.
Judge Hilary Potani said the new fees should apply to the students who are expected to begin their first year at the institution in the 2016-2017 academic calendar not those who are continuing their studies.
Malawi24 has been informed of disagreements between students over the matter.
Some section argues paying the new fees structure is not a problem now that they have been forced to stay home longer than expected something which has led to the disturbance of the school calendar.
Another section however sticks to its guns that they should not pay the new fees even if the school remains closed.
Last week, President Peter Mutharika met with the newly appointed university council on the way forward for the college following a closure due to fees hike saga.
The council briefed Mutharika that they have been meeting parents to discuss the new fees structure hence the decision to open the university.