Thursday August 7 2014

Public varsities told to charge uniform fees

Education and Sports minister Jessica Alupo greets

Education and Sports minister Jessica Alupo greets Dr Simba Sali, a participant after opening the leadership conference at Makerere University yesterday. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA  


KAMPALA- The government has directed public universities to charge students from East African countries and Ugandans uniform fees.

The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Jessica Alupo, yesterday said the directive would take effect this academic year.

Ms Alupo was speaking during the opening of a leadership conference at Makerere University.
“We have given a directive to all universities to charge the same fees to students from the East African region like what they charge Ugandans. This is already happening in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda,” she said.

Ms Alupo added that the ministry was just putting into action a directive already issued by the East African heads of state.

Asked on whether this would not affect the resource envelope of the already underfunded universities, Ms Alupo said the issue of funding public universities in the country is already being addressed by the relevant authorities holistically.

President Museveni had earlier directed the ministry of Education to harmonise tuition fees for all university students from East African member states, saying it is a shame for higher institutions of learning in Uganda to charge higher tuition fees for students from other states at a time of regional integration.

Despite the fact that some of the public universities are due to open this weekend, with new students reporting, some of the university officials who this newspaper contacted said they had not officially received the directive.

Mr Alfred Masikye Namoah, the academic registrar of Makerere University, said the institution had not received official communication from the ministry.

“We have not received official communication from the Ministry of Education and when we do we shall take the necessary steps. But as of now the current fees structure stands.”

Mr Lawrence Madete, the Kyambogo University public relations officer, said he was personally not aware of the directive but observed that as a government institution, the university would act on the directive when it comes through.

The leadership conference held under the theme: “African States: Competing Identities and Democratisation”, brought together participants from the biggest universities from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi.