WINDHOEK - Following months of anxiety among defaulting students at the University of Namibia (Unam) over being allowed to sit for their exams, the university management has decided to allow such students to write exams which started this week.
In an interview with New Era, Unam spokesperson John Haufiku said that after due consideration it was decided that all defaulting students would be allowed to sit for their first semester exams. Although some students who had not settled their accounts could not view their portals because they were locked due to non-payment, Haufiku said the portals have since been opened to allow them access and print their timetables to enter exam halls.
“The university is permitting students who haven’t settled first semester fees to sit for exams. Yet, strongly reminds all students that the second semester registration will require that all first semester fees have been settled,” he said.
In 2017, Unam allowed students with outstanding fees to sit for their examinations, on condition that 50 percent of tuition fees are settled.
Haufiku explained that the university has been lenient to students in the past, and continues so. “The Unam policy on fees is very clear – ‘a student who owes may not be allowed to sit for exams or have access to results.’ However, being a public university, and taking issues of access and equity into consideration, Unam management has, over the years, made various concessions in consideration of students’ needs,” he said.
When asked whether examination results for the first semester will be withheld for those who haven’t settled their fees by the end of exams, Haufiku responded that “the decision about withholding first semester marks is yet to be discussed by management”.
He explained that the policy is however very clear on this matter, and any deviation from it would be the prerogative of management based on the university’s current financial commitments.
Unam, for the first time since its inception, introduced two registrations this year, one for the first semester and one for the second semester.
According to Haufiku, this was meant to improve student debt management, compelling students to settle first semester fees before they proceed to the second semester.
In the past students would only pay a deposit at the beginning of the year, and then wait till the November exams before attempting to settle their fees.
“That behaviour created cash-flow problems for the university,” Haufiku stressed, adding the result had been a re-occuring rise in student debt, sometimes as high as N$500 million.
•••• Caption (Pic; Unam fees):
Unam spokesperson John Haufiku
2019-05-14 08:59:45 7 days ago