Makerere students reject 15% tuition increment

Action. Police arrest Makerere University students who were addressing a press conference at the institution’s campus in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY KELVIN ATUHAIRE

What you need to know:

  • Background. The increment, which could be paid by first year students, who are reporting in August, was proposed by the student leaders.


Makerere University students have rejected the 15 per cent tuition increment as proposed by their guild leadership.
Early this year, the university council proposed a 45 per cent and 91 per cent tuition increment for some courses, which was rejected by students and their guild representatives.
In a bid to strike a balance, the students’ leadership led by the Guild President, Mr Papa Were Salim, then proposed a 15 per cent increment to be levied on all courses for five years.
The proposed increment could be paid by first year students, who are reporting in August, and could not affect continuing students.
Addressing journalists at Makerere University yesterday, the chairperson of the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change Makerere Chapter, Mr Edmon Mugabe, said the guild leadership proposed the tuition increment without consulting students.
He claimed that the University Council is agreeable to the guild position, which will be endorsed when students are still in holiday.

Collusion claims
“This [increment] comes at a time when everyone is in holidays. They tried to pass these policies when we were here; we fought tooth and nail and they suspended them. Now we are off for holidays and they want to pass these polices. I assure you, we shall protest if this proposal is approved,” Mr Mugabe warned.
He added: “We are very disappointed in our leadership that we democratically voted to represent us in the guild house and we are sure they were bribed to act like that. We distance ourselves from their proposals and we shall fully participate in policies that affect sovereignty of a common student in this university.”
The students gave the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, up to August to revert the proposal.
The three students, including Mr Mugabe and two unidentified others, were arrested by the university police for conducting what the officer-in-charge, Mr Denis Kasibante, called “unlawful assembly”.
Meanwhile, the University Council is slated to hold an emergency meeting next week to harmonise its proposal with that of the students.
The fees increment, which largely affects the College of Health Sciences, is meant to pay up the Shs80 billion university debt.