Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
UNIVERSITIES have complied with the Government directive to reduce fees for students on industrial attachment and teaching practice by 40 percent.
Government last week directed the institutions of higher learning to slash tuition fees after considering the economic environment and socio-economic status of most students.
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust), Lupane State University and Midlands State University yesterday confirmed that they had complied with the directive.
Nust director of communication and marketing, Mr Felix Moyo said the institution had reduced the fees as directed.
“We received a circular from the Ministry on the issue. We will be advising all students already on industrial attachment through relevant channels,” said Mr Moyo.
LSU information and public relations officer Mr Zwelithini Dlamini said the policy was already in effect and students had been notified.
“This memo serves to inform you that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development has directed that with effect from this 2nd semester 2018 (February to June 2018) students on Industrial attachment shall pay 60 percent of the tuition fees. Please note that all students shall continue to pay the levies to the University,” read the LSU memo to students.
MSU information and public relations director Mrs Mirirai Mawere said on Monday that the institution had already reduced fees as directed by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
“As a State university, we are obliged to adhere to Government directives,” she said
In a circular to Vice Chancellors and College Principals, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Desire Sibanda said the reduction of fees was with immediate effect.
“This circular serves to inform you that the Ministry has reviewed the payment of tuition fees by students on industrial attachment or teaching practice to 60 percent of tuition fees. In this regard the Ministry’s new policy is that all Higher and Tertiary Education students on industrial attachment or teaching practice will now be required to pay 60 percent of tuition fees with immediate effect,” said Dr Sibanda.
He said the decision had been taken after careful consideration of the socio-economic environment and the socio economic status of the majority of the students.
“Students on attachment meet the cost of accommodation, food and transport to and from work. The Ministry has considered the variable and fixed costs attendant to student’s supervision and utilisation of teaching and learning facilities,” he said.
Dr Sibanda said the new policy abolishes Circular No 6 of 1997 which required students on attachment to pay full tuition fees.
He said the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education is committed to promoting inclusive quality in line with Sustainable Development Goal Four of Vision 2030.
“In reducing the cost to 60 percent, the Ministry considered that institutions require funds to meet supervisory costs for each student on attachment and that the majority of students continue to access library and other learning facilities while on attachment,” he said.