By Nyasa Times Reporter
The new Vice Chancellor for Share World Open University Professor Felix Salaniponi is already becoming unpopular among students following the exorbitant increase in fees which will see some students paying over half million kwacha for one year.
The hike comes just after about three months of Salaniponi’s entry into the system as vice chancellor.
Some students from the Lilongwe campus told Nyasa Times that the fees hike is unrealistic and unjustifiable because the college has sub standard structures.
“Professor Salaniponi has just joined the college in July but already we are told that fees are increased drastically. First year students will now pay K270 000 from K197 000. Second year students will pay K350 000 from K294 000 while third year students K400 000 from K355 000 and fourth year students K540 000 from K439 000,” one student said as his friends nodded their heads in unison.
He said the fees are with effect from this September.
Another visibly charged student added, “There is no justification for the hike. The library is in short supply of relevant books. The computers especially at Blantyre campus are not usable. They are just dumped in room to hoodwink government that they have computer lab. Teaching and learning materials are not there. Many lecturers share a room and some classrooms are small.”
Another student chipped in and said, “The hike is coming when the college is struggling to have a permanent license from government. We ask government to intervene on the fees. It is too much. If those are the changes that Professor Salaniponi is bringing to the college, then one day there will be trouble at the college.”
The student said there will be a meeting when the new semester starts in September to discuss the fees. He said students are now forced to have a students union to look into the issue and others.
“There is a task force which has fought hard to demand for some improvement. The committee is still there and it will meet over this. At the same time, it is now high time the students came together and formed the much dogged and feared students union,” the student said.
Despite hiking the fees, the college is operating in the old Malawi Congress Party building in Blantyre where water and lights are a problem most of the times according to the students.
The college has just built its own campus in Lilongwe.
Salaniponi could not be reached to comment on the fees issue.
Other staff members also sympathized with the students that the fees had unjustifiably gone up.
“We sympathise with you. That is too much. Paying over one million just for one year? But you see, although the fees is high like that, we shall continue getting meagre salaries,” one member said expressing fears that some students will leave the college.
A lecturer also complained that Salaniponi is treating the lecturers as babies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :