Windhoek — Students at the University of Namibia owe the institution a bank breaking N$326 million in unpaid tuition fees, literally a month before the commencement of the final examinations.
According to the university the amount was outstanding as of Tuesday this week and only for active students throughout the 12 campuses across the country. It does not include historic debts of students who are no longer with the institution, the spokesperson for the University of Namibia (Unam) Simon Namesho told New Era yesterday.
There has however been a slight decrease in the amount owed this year, when compared to N$342 million owed by September 2016.
Over the years, the university has taken a serious stance not to allow those students who owe outstanding fees to sit for the final examinations, which led to several protestations between management and students.
Namesho could statistically not provide the number of active students who owe the university to date, however, a total number of 19,130 students could not settle their fees by August 2016.
Namesho cautioned students that as at the end of this month, students who do not settle their tuition fees could be denied access to academic and examination information on the university's student IT portal. The university could also elect to withhold issuing certificates to those graduating.
This means once students' information regarding academics and examinations are restricted on their portal, then they won't be able to access their timetables with which they are expected to enter the exam hall.
He warned students with outstanding fees that have not registered for the current academic year that they are to be handed over to a debt collection agency.
He stated the due date for outstanding fees for the 2017 academic year was June 30.
"The University of Namibia continues to engage students to settle their outstanding balances. Students have an option to make the required deposit payment towards their student accounts before and during the registration period, by either cash or debit or credit payments at any Unam cashier, direct bank deposits, electronic transfers or by way of debit order payments.".
However, he maintained that students who settle their accounts in full at registration qualify for a 10 percent discount on their tuition fees.
Subsequent to the registration period, he said, students have a further option of monthly instalments to settle their outstanding balance, before the outstanding fees due date.
He indicated the university, as from the end of February, has employed various means to remind students of their outstanding balances and payment due dates.
Moreover, he said, constant reminders are communicated to students via SMS, financial statements and notices on the student portal.