Chanco students march against hiked tuition fees in University of Malawi

Students from Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) in the eastern city of Zomba on Friday marched to the District Commissioner’s offices to voice their anger against a hike in tuition fees for self-sponsored students of the college.

The students presented a petition, saying the fees would put students off continuing studies to university.

The petition signed by the Students Union of Chancellor College (Succ) president Israel Masiyano and Wanangwa Kalua, was
received by a representative from the DC’s office.

The University of Malawi council is planning to raise the fees from K100, 000 to K250, 000 a move which has angered the student’s

Heavily armed police officers escorted the students from their Chilunga Campus as they chanted anti- government songs and blocked traffic.

According to students union president , the increase is “outrageous” and does not reflect the current economic hardships rocking the country

“A week before Chancellor College opened for its 2012/2013 academic year, it was announced that the fees for both government-sponsored and
self-sponsored students had been hiked by 150 percent by the Council of the University of Malawi. We feel unfairly treated in the way the fee hike was implemented. We believe such a serious decision required proper and timely budgeting. As such, ample time was supposed to have been given before the fee increment was made,” reads the petition in part.

March day: Chanco students
March day: Chanco students

President Joyce Banda who is also the chancellor of University of Malawi (Unima) recently pledged to resolve students’ grievances on upkeep allowances and other concerns. She has since set-up a special committee to look into the matter.

There has been a series of protests students from Mzuzu University, Polytechnic College and Lilongwe Technical College had a week ago, demanding an increment on their monthly meal and upkeep allowances as well as reduction in school fees.

The students are demanding a monthly upkeep allowance increase from K40, 000 to around K65, 000 per student, arguing the current allocation is not keeping pace with the economic situation Malawi is experiencing.

President Banda, who met with the University Council and the Management of the Universities of Malawi on Friday, said the set-up of the committee will help in, among other issues, address challenges affecting students accessing higher education in the country.

A private institution, Blantyre International University has also its students demonstrating over fees hike.

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