Malawi: Trouble for Needy Students At Mubas Over Late Registration Fee Hike

A move by Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) management to raise late registration fee per day from K5 000 to K20 000 foreshadows a bleak future for the institution where more than half of its students cannot afford their K200 000 per semester tuition.

The university's registrar announced, through a memo on Friday, that students are supposed to register for the second semester, which begins on Monday, June 13, for the 2020/2021 academic year by June 27.

The memo emphasized that "students who register later than 27th June, 2021 will pay a late registration fee of MK20 000."

According to the memo, only students who will have paid the required K200 000 semester tuition fees will be allowed to register for the new semester.

It said the University would enforce a 'No Fees, No Registration' policy.

Some students have vented out their anger on management saying the decision is "unthoughtful" since it is a known fact that most of them are already struggling.

"It is daylight robbery on part of management to impose such a policy on needy students who constitute a huge percentage of the school's population," said Martin Manyozo, a vocal student politician at the MUBAS Chichiri Campus, who recently contested for the student union presidency.

He said much as the school needed money to run, it was also a duty of both management and the student body to help out financially challenged students in one way or another.

"For example, here at the Poly we have entities such as the tuck-shop, stationery shops and a bar, among others, that are run by the student body and make millions. But this money goes to the pockets of a few selected individuals instead of helping out needy students.

"My stand on the fees policy has been rushed. It is unfair because it will see deserving students get withdrawn from the University. Students with such small fees balances as K14 000 have previously lost or reserved their places to complete their studies later in their lives which is quite unfair," Manyozo said.

MUBAS tuition fees structure is K400 000 per academic year divided into two semesters at K200 000. Students are allowed to pay at least half of a semester's fees, about K100 000, which, still, most students cannot afford.

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