· Decision to stop fee hikes charms students
· But universities worry amid surging inflation
THE Zimbabwean Government’s move to bar public universities from hiking fees has been welcomed by students but there are fears that the institutions will struggle to fund their operations.
The Southern African country is experiencing rising inflation, with latest reports putting it at 175 percent. Universities had hoped to cushion themselves through fee hikes.
However, their requests were shot down, with the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira saying: “Fees remain the same until we put alternative payment methods as currently we are working on grants.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) President Pijiwest Nhamburo hailed the Government’s decision.
“It’s a positive development, considering the economic situation in the country, and as Zicosu we are in full support of the Minister,” Nhamburo said.
Most universities had proposed to increase fees for their parallel and block release programmes, with the Midlands State University reportedly hiking fees from RTGS$800 to RTGS$2000.
Universities feel they have a strong case for advocating for fee increases as most of them are struggling to meet their day to day operational expenses.