University of Malawi has increased its tuition fees for mature students from 2016/17 academic calendar , according to a leaked memo dated May 12, 2016 from office of the University Registrar as seen by Nyasa Times.
Signed by the University registrar Benedicto Malunga, the memo indicates that the University has agreed to vary fees for mature students and generic students.
“I write to advise that Council of the University of Malawi resolved to adjust the fees paid by its mature students upwards,” communicates the memo.
The University has said that all the students that will be admitted in the 2016/17 academic year will be subject to the new fee change agreed at an extraordinary meeting of the Council for the University of Malawi.
Mature entry admitted to Chancellor College in Zomba will be required to pay K900,000 tuition fees, according to the memo.
College of Medicine will charge K1.4 million; Kamuzu College of Nursing K1 million and Polytechnic fees is now pegged at K950,000.
Fees were at K275,000 before the increase.
University of Malawi spokesperson Peter Mitunda confirmed the adjustments.
Mitunda said government did not want to subside fees for mature entry students who largely come from working class.
But the astronomical rise in university tuition fees for mature students has received criticism from commentators.
President of Economist Association of Malawi, Henry Kachaje, took to Facebook to denounce the adjustment.
“ We are creating an elite society where only the rich will have access to university education, thus deepening the divide between the rich and the poor (80% of normal selection already comes from private schools).
“But I still believe that we can find a way to make education accessible to all especially that education still remains the greatest equaliser between the rich and the poor,” Kachaje wrote.
Most people commenting on social media dubbed the increase “an outrage”.
They argued that the fees hike will have a serious and damaging impact on second chance students, those who didn’t go to university after school but have seen the prospect of mature studies as an opportunity to improve their education and career prospects some years later.
The fess hike will be a deterrent for mature students, they observed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :