Albertina Nakale Windhoek-In attempt to assist thousands of desperate students who are required to pay upfront a 50 percent deposit in tuition fees, the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has decided to write to the University of Namibia (Unam) Council requesting it to reduce the compulsory payment. In an interview with New Era yesterday, Nanso communications officer, Matheus Taapopi, said the deposit requirement would leave many students unable to access tertiary education, which he described as a “disaster” for the country. Nanso proposed that Unam should at least reduce the deposit fee to 5 or 10 percent, instead of the 50 percent payment. “Today we are making a formal submission to Unam Council, which will sit on the 31st of January [Wednesday], to make a considered reduction on the 50% deposit. In our submission we raise a number of solutions on the modalities of 50% deposit on tuition fees,” Taapopi said. He said Nanso has engaged the leadership of the university to extend registration “with no late paying fees”, in order to allow government intervention of the N$150 million. Treasury has stepped in with additional funds of N$150 million to the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), which has run out of funds, to guarantee payments to students enrolling for the 2018 academic year. Since the beginning of the 2018 academic year, Nanso has vowed that all students should be allowed to commence registration prior to paying the N$2,000 registration fee and the 50 percent tuition fee deposit. The university has rejected that acknowledgement letters from NSFAF be used by first-year students at registration, which means everyone is required to pay the N$2,000 plus the 50 percent tuition fee deposit. Worst of all, Unam threatened that if payments are not made by February 9, the registration status will lapse and one will be required to re-register during the late registration period. However, this announcement did not go down well with the newly elected Nanso leadership who have condemned the 50 percent deposit requirement, as they feel many students won’t be able to pay such a high fee before February. The university’s decision led to the students’ outcry. On Friday, Unam extended the due date for the registration fee and tuition fee deposit from February 2 – 9. Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho says registration for first-year students is extended to February 2, adding that no late registration fees will be applicable for the 2018 academic year. Further, Namesho notes that the registration status for students that go through the registration process and have not yet made any registration fee payment and tuition fee deposit will remain pending until such payments are effected. “An invoice, that includes the registration fee and total annual tuition fee, is provided at the end of the registration process for all students. Due date for the remaining balance after registration is 30 June 2018,” he maintained. Namesho added that aspiring students who still wish to apply to Unam are advised to apply online from January 29 – February 2. The late application fee of N$300 will apply to applications submitted manually (online application remains free of charge). Online registration for senior students, which started on January 23, is on until February 2. First-year students that might not have completed their registration on their respective faculty designated dates, are welcome to approach their faculty officers on January 29 – February 2, at the different Unam campuses. However, he says their registration status will remain in a pending status, until the compulsory minimum registration fee and the 50 percent tuition fee deposit are settled.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-30 09:23:04 9 months ago