Makerere University has increased the price of its graduation gown ahead of the January 2018 graduation ceremony.
The gown whose design was released prior to the 67 graduation ceremony held in January, now costs Shs98,000 according to the official notice issued to prospective graduands.
The university entered into an agreement with a tailoring company, Team uniform Limited, to supply gowns at Shs75,000. The attire has Makerere's emblem and colours, two features that, until January this year, were a preserve for doctoral graduands.
However, the price has since increased by Shs23,000. One official selling the official gowns at Senate building told this reporter that a lot has changed since January including the cost of materials.
But Alfred Namoah Masikye, the Makerere University Academic Registrar has subsequently warned students against purchasing gowns from other places apart from the designated office at Senate basement. In his statement dated December 8, Namoah stated that; "nobody is allowed to use university colours and logos without permission from the university."
"This is to inform you that the official graduation gowns from Team uniform Limited, the service provider contracted by the university are available at the basement of Senate building near the former Crane Bank," Masikye said. He said that the service provider has enough gowns in stock for all graduands.
However, a mini-survey by this reporter found that the gown is on display at Wandegeya small gate and traders have since November been involved in its production. At the small gate, the gown ranges between 60,000-80,000 Shillings. Apart from Wandegeya, the academic gowns are being hawked by university college registrars at the university.
Ian Musimenta, one of the graduates from College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology -CEDAT said that he had not paid for own because it was expensive.
"I just paid for all other Graduations fees except the gown. I will get from a friend from last year and incur a cost of changing embroidery, Musimenta said. He added; "I only hope they don't force us and make it a requirement to pay for it before you get the book and invitation. I really hope because 90,000 Shillings is too much for a gown that I will only use for a few hours."
Prospective graduands also have to pay Shs40,000 as graduation fees, Shs30,000 transcript fee, Shs30, 000 certificate fees and Shs10, 000 convocation fees.