The University of Namibia is battling to recover millions of dollars in outstanding student debt which stands at a gigantic N$617 million.
Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho told New Era this amount is owed by registered students who are still pursuing their studies. This year, over 25 746 students have registered with the institution.
“Registered students who are funded by the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) make up about 68% of the university’s total student population. On the other hand, N$166 million is owed by students who are no longer registered with the university,” he noted.
The ministry of higher education was allocated N$3.8 billion in this year’s budget.
The majority of the remaining students are privately funded or hold bursaries. However, he said most of the outstanding fees from previous years are owed by privately funded students.
Seeing the June exams are around the corner, Namesho assured students who owe money to Unam will be allowed to sit for their first semester exams.
Queried on what measures Unam have in place to recover monies owed to it, he said the university has implemented several measures to ensure that students settle their outstanding balances before the end of the year.
“Students are required to settle 60% of their outstanding fees by the end of the first semester, which is 30 June 2023. The remaining 40% balance must be paid by 30 November 2023,” he notified.
If a student has paid off 60% of their outstanding fees by the end of the first semester but fails to clear their account by the end of November, their exam results will be withheld until they settle their account in full.
Unam encouraged all students to settle their outstanding balances within the specified payment periods. Students are advised to make regular monthly payments to avoid large cash commitments by the payment due dates.
The university recommends using its online payment platform to make payments. Namesho believes online payments can be made safely, fast and conveniently on the Unam website at: www.unam.edu.na/online-payment.
Students are urged to settle their accounts as soon as possible to avoid being denied access to service provisions by the university.
Moreover, Namesho said Unam appreciates its students who have chosen the university as their higher education institution and is committed to helping them overcome financial challenges.
“The university believes that its services are crucial to building an educated Namibian society and always aims to meet students halfway in its policies and operations. However, the university also expects students to commit equally to their studies and financial obligations. Unam needs its clients to pay for the cost of service to operate optimally and meet its financial obligations,” he implored. – email@example.com