The Malawi Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) president Frank Mchupuka Msiska has pleaded with President Peter Mutharika to intervene and provide a lasting solution to differences that have erupted between University of Malawi (Unima) Council and students over fees hike.
Msiska who is also an executive member of the University of Malawi Student Union (Umsu) council highlighted that the issue at hand is pertinent and needs urgent attention from the president who is also the Chancellor of Unima.
“We are wondering why the president is silent on this very important matter of national interest. We have seen the president issuing directives on other issues that affect the nation. This is a critical moment that we need him to come in,” said Msiska.
He further said Umsu has had several meetings with both the Unima council and the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST) but they have failed to resolve the issue because the council is not backing down on its decision.
In the new fees structure, Polytechnic College generic students will be paying K380 000 per annum, Chancellor College tuition fees has been pegged at K320 000, K500 000 for the College of Medicine and K340 000 for the Kamuzu College of Nursing.
Mature entry students are expected to be paying fees ranging from K900 000 to K1.4 million per annum in respective of the colleges they are studying.
But presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani blushed aside assertions that the president is just sitting idle on the matter.
Said Kalilani: “The president is actively involved to find a lasting solution to this matter. As a Chancellor he has been engaged in discussions with MoEST and the University Council. It is his wish that the issue be resolved and that the academic calendar is not disturbed any further.”
In an earlier interview, Umsu president Tiwonge Sikwese said as students they will continue to fight for their education rights because they believe raising fees to the level it is now is denying others the right to tertiary education.