Chimwendo defends public university fees increase


Leader of the House in Parliament Richard Chimwendo Banda has defended the increase in tuition fees by public universities saying the cost of operating universities is very high.

Chimwendo made the remarks after Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, stood on a point of order in Parliament to protest against the increase in fees at University of Malawi and Lilongwe University of Agriculture (LUANAR) where fees has been increased from K420,000 to 600,000 for generic students.

Nankhumwa said government should reverse the decision to increase university fees because many households are facing economic challenges under the Lazarus Chakwera administration.

He noted that about 2,000 students are already at risk of withdrawing from public universities due to lack of fees and there is a risk that the number of such students will increase..

Nankhumwa’s point was supported by other Members of Parliament from the Democratic Progressive Party.

However, Chimwendo said universities spend K4.5 million to train each student and the fees which the students pay is contribution to this cost.

He added that many thousands of students also access loans for fees from the government.

Chimwendo also claimed that universities initially proposed higher fees but the figures were reduced because of the intervention of President Lazarus Chakwera.