Makerere University students have asked the university council to consider a waiver on functional fees.
According to the university fees structure, private students pay Shs 860,000 while international students are supposed to pay Shs 1.5 million in functional fees while students on government sponsorship pay Shs 18,000.
The functional fees include registration of students, examination fee, development fee and university identity card among others. But the students guild argues that part of the items paid for such as the library, sports and accommodation were not fully utilized.
Makerere University guild president Ivan Ssempijja explains that many students after being hit by economic challenges due to the Covid-19 lockdown since last year will be able to keep in school if there is a 50 per cent waiver on the fees.
Uganda Christian University (UCU), this month issued an amended fees structure with functional fees reduced from Shs 983,000 to Shs 618,000. Yusuf Kizito, a student at the school of education supports the guild leaders on the waiver. He explains that it has been a challenge for him to raise money for rent.
Henry Muwonge, another student pursuing education in his second year, notes that since the pandemic last year, he has been struggling to raise tuition.
“Imagine we were locked down last year but we had to sit examinations for which I still owe the university. This semester I had to struggle to raise just part of the functional fees without tuition. I had to buy data too because of online lectures. The financial burden is so high, the university should consider,” Muwonge said.
Makerere University vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe says that the demand for a waiver will be presented to various committees at the university.
“It is our mandate to look into students welfare, this will be looked into and thereafter we can have something concrete to say.” said Nawangwe.