Seven students from the Malawi’s privately owned Blantyre International University (BIU) have been arrested following protests over the recent increase on tuition fees at the school which has been raised from K200, 000 per semester to K260, 000.
School officials told Nyasa Times that the police had to use teargas canisters to disperse the rioting students who were breaking the school’s property at BIU campus Naperi township in Blantyre.
BIU is owned by veteran and international economist Professor Charles Chanthunya.
Students union president Hope Munyenyembe said the decision to raise the fees without properly notifying the students is what led to the fracas. Many students and lecturers were surprised to see a notice in a newspaper about tuition hike.
The University’s registrar Kenneth Mtambalika said mostly the students have broken the school chairs and desks.
“In fact not much damage has been caused except the chairs which the students were throwing and the situation was served by the police who arrived on time,” he told Nyasa Times.
The University, which is accredited by the government, started in 2008 with scores of students, but now it boasts of nearly 1000 students enrolled on both full-time and distance learning basis.
The BIU protests come two days are students from Polytechnic, Lilongwe Teachers College and Mzuzu University held protests over allowance issues.