The High Court in Blantyre yesterday ruled in favour of Polytechnic Students’ Union (PSU) by stopping the University of Malawi (Unima) Council from implementing a new tuition fees structure.
On September 28 2016, the union obtained an injunction restraining college authorities from implementing the hiked fee of K350 000 per annum, arguing that due to delay in the Polytechnic academic calendar, the college is still in the 2015/2016 academic year and not in the 2016/2017 academic year, which the University of Malawi (Unima) fees hike is meant for.
In his ruling in the absence of Unima Council lawyer and representatives, High Court judge Healey Potani said, according to communication from the council on the fee hike, the new fees was to be implemented in the 2016/2017 academic calendar.
This means that the students will pay the old fees structure of K55 000 and K250 000 for government and self-sponsored students, respectively.
Speaking in an interview after the ruling, PSU president Frank Msiska thanked the court for exercising its independence on the matter, saying this has raised the students’ confidence in the country’s judicial system.
He called on Unima Council to facilitate the immediate opening of the college.
Tension ensued in July this year in the four Unima constituent colleges, namely College of Medicine (CoM), Chancellor College (Chanco), Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) and The Polytechnic following students’ protests over the fee hike.
The new fees ranging from K400 000 to K600 000 were increased from K55 000/K275 000 per academic year.