Kampala – Kyambogo University students can now breathe a sigh of relief after the university management bowed to pressure and waived the surcharge for late payment of tuition.
The decision was one of several resolutions reached by the University management during a crisis meeting held on May 8th, 2023, with the student Guild leaders.
Last week, it was reported that Kyambogo University management was scheduled to meet with the guild leadership to resolve the current impasse that had disrupted teaching and learning at the institution.
The University had earlier implemented a surcharge of 50,000 Shillings on students who failed to clear their full tuition within the first six to eight weeks of the semester, causing panic among students who were due to begin their examinations later this month.
In response, students led by their Guild President Edrine Wafula Koholo held a one-week-long protest over the policy, which threatened activities within the institution. The University management was concerned about the protests and later called for a dialogue to find a way forward.
A letter dated May 8th, 2023, from the Vice Chancellor’s office, signed jointly by the Vice Chancellor and the Guild President, confirm that the two parties engaged in a meeting and arrived at several resolutions aimed at resolving the impasse within the institution.
“Food and living out allowances shall be processed and paid by 19th May 2023.” Part of the resolution reads. “Payment of the surcharge is halted, pending management’s recommendation to the University council to have it waived for this semester.”Another part of the resolution reads.
Guild President Wafula confirmed in a phone call that the University had agreed to waive the surcharge fee for this semester, and no student would have to pay it, regardless of what time they would clear their tuition. However, he could not commit to whether the policy would be dropped permanently.
The students had argued that many semesters had been adjusted in a short period of time to make up for time lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it difficult for their parents to pay on time, given the after-effects of COVID-19 on their income.
Wafula also expressed his hope that the University would follow through on its commitment to provide allowances to government-sponsored students, which was the second concern that had led to the week-long impasse within the institution.
Government-sponsored students are entitled to a living-out allowance, which is meant to defray the costs of their accommodation and meals. Those residing in halls of residence are only eligible for a portion of this allowance that caters to their food expenses.
It is worth noting that in January 2023, Makerere University management was compelled to halt the controversial surcharge policy on students who failed to beat the registration deadline after a series of meetings with the then Guild President Lawrence Alionzi.