Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has reiterated its stance to bar students who are yet to pay their tuition fees from sitting for their end of semester examinations.
Over three hundred students are expected to miss the exams scheduled to start today for nonpayment of tuition fees amounting to about K1 billion, according to university registrar Phillip Kaonda.
Luanar demands K362,000 and K771,000 as annual tuition fee from its generic and mature entry undergraduate students, respectively.
Kaonda added that the affected students were only “trying to be naughty by hiding behind the underprivileged tag”, arguing that the university has enough avenues to cater for every needy student as far as the issue of fees is concerned.
Apart from the Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board, the university says needy students can also access tuition through the university’s office of the director of students’ affairs, instituted to facilitate fee payment plans for the students.
“This time around, the [university] senate that congregated recently has opted for a no-mercy-approach in a quest to send the message across. We’ve been lenient enough on them and reaching this far, I can say without fear of contradiction that such defaulters just take the university’s leniency for granted.
“On the other hand, it won’t be fair to those who pay, as most of them equally struggle to raise
for the same. Tertiary education anywhere in the world is supposed to be paid for, one way or the other,” Kaonda said.
Luanar Students’ Union president Thomas Chasera confirmed the development in a separate interview, adding that management has already officially communicated to all concerned parties of their decision.
He also revealed that efforts to get the Ministry of Education’s intervention on the matter have so far proved futile, although the students understand that the institution is ‘no longer as strong in its finances’.
Chasera explained: “Yes, it’s true; the university isn’t letting those with fees balances sit for the exam. Actually, this started last Friday with the freshmen. However, the students still have a chance to sit for differed exams should they pay up anytime in between, otherwise they set to miss out completely. It’s that pathetic.”
Ministry of Education spokesperson Lindiwe Chide said in an interview that she was unaware the affected students sought government’s intervention this time around.
“Perhaps I need more time to consult, otherwise I don’t remember them engaging us on the matter,” she said.