Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Trust Fund on Wednesday night raised about K7 million in cash pledges during its second launch at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. The first launch was in Blantyre last year.
The trust’s chairperson Stallard Mpata said the launch aimed at raising awareness for people and organisations to donate towards administering loans for school fees to needy students so that they do not drop out of school.
“We have a big economic problem in our country such that 66 percent of the population lives on less than $2 [about K1 500] per day while 22 percent lives on less than $1 [about K750] per day and with this situation, it is hard for most students to finish their education after successfully securing a place,” he said.
Mzuni second vice-chancellor Loveness Kaunda said a number of students withdraw from the university as early as two weeks after arrival after failing to pay tuition fees.
She said government-funded loans and grants are not enough to cater for all needy students as such, only a few ones access them and the rest withdraw for good.
Said Kaunda: “Right now 28 students who were not successful in their loan applications last semester will drop out if they cannot find the money they need by March 21. Some 58 students withdrew before registration last semester and some were second, third and fourth year students.”
She said the university cannot speculate on students who will raise money and come back, stressing that there is need to raise enough funds and help them finish their education.