Africa University has increased tuition fees by 40 percent for students paying in RTGS dollars, a move which students say will force many parents into debt as they try to make adjustments to cater for the increase.
The University announced the increase in a statement to its students which also affect accommodation, health and technology fees.
The increase will see students paying $2 740 per semester, up from $2 150.
However, the fees remain unchanged for students who pay their fees in US dollars.
Students who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity last week said the new fees were too much and most of them would not be able to afford them.
They said some students might be forced to drop out considering the difficult economic situation which has eroded their parents’ income.
“The new semester started on January 14 and the university sent us emails on February 22 to say the fee structure for undergraduate students had been reviewed upwards,” one of the students said. “This put us in a difficult situation because our parents had not budgeted for this kind of increment. We can hardly afford to pay for such an amount. $5 480 per year is a lot of money.
“AU has become one of the most expensive universities in Zimbabwe. The economic situation has been difficult for everyone and we will not be able to pay such huge amounts. Not many of us can afford to pay in US dollars. The university should have considered that before instituting such an increase.”
Prior to the fees hike, AU students accessing all facilities were paying $2 150 per semester, constituting $1 500 tuition, $400 accommodation, $250 health and $100 technology fee.
After the 40 percent fees hike, undergraduate students paying in RTGS will now pay tuition fees amounting to $1 960, accommodation $560 health $350 and technology fee of $140.
“Following consultations with our board of directors and the Student Representative Council Executive, we write to advise of the fees review for those paying in RTGS Bond,” wrote the university.
“In light of the above, we would like to take this opportunity to inform you, our most important and valued stakeholder of a 40 percent fees adjustment.”
The AU public relations office could not be reached for comment.
Source : The Herald