THE University of Zimbabwe’s Students’ Representative Union (SRU) last Friday petitioned the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development demanding an urgent reintroduction of academic loans, grants and cadetship schemes.
BY SENIOR REPORTER
The students also accused tertiary institutions of unilaterally hiking tuition and accommodation fees for students on cadetship.
Part of the petition signed by SRU secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe reads: “Accommodation fees for students resident at the university were hiked from $800 to $950 and students on cadetship who joined in 2011 were charged $45, but in 2012, this was hiked to $99 and now they are charging $150.
“Every semester fees are raised unjustifiably and education is now wildly expensive for the average student hence making it difficult to acquire quality education in an economy which is no longer employment-based,” he said.
The students said the fee hikes were in contravention of the Constitution.
“We request emergent action by your office in reprimanding college and university administration from deviously hiking fees as they are becoming unrealistic to the extent that we have concluded that they are sabotaging the country’s higher and tertiary learning,” the students said.
“We were better off with the cadetship programme. Poorly-funded as it were, it reduced the financial woes that we are facing. Academic loans and grants that once sustained livelihoods of parliamentarians, college and university administrators and various other government officials are now a piece of history,” they said.
The students said their financial woes resulted in many of them failing to attend lessons as they are forced into vices like alcoholism, drug abuse and prostitution.
Higher Education minister Olivia Muchena could not be reached for comment yesterday as she was said to be on leave.