By Donald Chakamanga
The University of Zimbabwe Students Representative Council (SRC) has expressed its discontent over the new fees structure which denotes a hike of more than 600 percent, stating that the increase was absurd and irrational.
At a media briefing in Harare Tuesday, SRC President, Allan Chipoyi underscored that all students from every faculty were feeling the impact of suffering the hike.
“The increase in university fees is absurd given that the majority of our parents barely have the means to pay for our university education. Most of them are civil servants, earning peanuts every month,” said Chipoyi.
The student rights activist told journalists that learners from the institution’s Faculty of Science are now compelled to pay $487 000, up from $6 000 which they paid in the last semester.
He also cited the Faculty of Veterinary Science in which students are now required to pay $602 000, up from $67 000 paid last semester.
The students are also protesting the increase in fees pegged in United States dollars insisting there were no valid argument to support the unpopular move.
Chipoyi lamented failure by authorities in the country’s highest learning institution to engage students, adding that such critical decisions needed the input of students to pass through.
“I would like to confirm as the President of the Student Representative Council that we never agreed to this proposal to hike fees.
“Our position as the SRC is clear; nothing for the students without the students,” said Chipoyi.
Other students echoed the same sentiments saying the administration has inadvertently decreed a ban on a university education by making schooling financially unaffordable.
The SRC has since called for a halt to all university business until the administration reviews its fees hike decision.
The SRC demands a revision of the fees structure to an amount below $200 000 and urges the government to subsidise university education in line with section 75 of the national constitution.
A petition backed by about 4 000 students’ signatures from the UZ has been submitted to the Parliament of Zimbabwe.