WINDHOEK - Following sustained pressure from student leaders, the University of Namibia has agreed to reduce its registration fees, which will allow government-funded students to register at a lower cost.
Students with acknowledgement letters from the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (Nsfaf) will now pay N$2 190 only during registration.
The N$2 190 amount was agreed yesterday during a meeting between the Unam management and student leaders.
Unam student representative council for information and publicity Sesilia Nghinanamunhu said Nsfaf made a decision to pay for all students who were awarded with loans last year on condition that they have passed the 2019 academic year.
Nsfaf also agreed to pay for students who signed a new contract with them for the 2020 academic year, as well as for hostel registration for students who were awarded in 2018 and 2019.
She noted Nsfaf indicated that the maximum hostel amount for students who were awarded in 2018 and 2019 is N$17 000. Thus, these students are required to make a top-up in situations where the hostel costs exceed N$17 000. However, she said, the tuition fees would be paid in full.
All bursary holders are allowed to register without paying the registration fee, the down payment (deposit) and hostel fee on condition that they don’t have a debit balance from 2019. Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) SRC president Lelian David said they are yet to reach an amicable solution with management on how fees should be reduced for both new and continuing students.
“We are still engaging with management. We are yet to get feedback. We are fighting for all students. We want the same effect of universities to take place at colleges and vocational centres,” David said. Students Union of Namibia (SUN) vice-president Inna Hengari said the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) also agreed to allow students to register for free, provided they give written proof stating reasons why they are unable to afford the required N$5 225 registration fee.
The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership also held engagements with the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre yesterday regarding student funding. Both WVTC and Nanso will also ensure that marginalised students who cannot afford upfront registration will be afforded the opportunity to register.
Nanso secretary-general Efraim Paulus said students who have been turned away as a result of not having registration fees should go back to the centre and work out payment arrangements. If they are not assisted, they will be assisted through the Nanso desk on the campus.