Makerere University has halted the annual 15 percent Cumulative Tuition Increment Policy. The halt follows an intensive negotiation and dialogue between the 86th Makerere Students’ Guild Leadership and the Makerere University Council.
It will be recalled that the 86th Makerere Students’ Guild Leadership, headed by the Guild President, His Excellency Ivan Ssempijja, made it one of the Leadership’s priority action points and a top-of-the-agenda undertaking, to challenge this annual cumulative tuition policy.
“I largely attribute this success to the foundation laid by the 85th Makerere Students’ Guild Leadership under the able leadership of Mr. Julius Kateregga (Guild President), and Mr. Ezra Byakutangaza (Guild Speaker).” Ivan Ssempijja, the Guild President said.
Professor Barnabus Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, suspended the University Council’s Proposal to increase tuition by 45 percent and 91 percent in April 2018, pending consultations with the students’ leadership following two days of demonstration by students protesting the move.
Accordingly, a committee of seven students from the Guild Representative Council (then the 84th Makerere Students’ Guild Leadership under the Leadership of Mr. Salim Papa Were), was formed to study the Council proposal and make its own recommendations. After two months, the committee proposed a 15 percent cumulative increment but only for the new students.
“The great mistake that was made by the University Council is that they consulted the 84th Guild President who was a Government sponsored student and the policy had no effect on these students. The adoption of that 15 percent cumulative tuition increment attracted unprecedented controversy owing to the fact that many students at the University alleged that the policy was passed during the holidays and that they were not consulted on the increment. This particular policy similarly inspired a number of student strikes in and outside the University.
With the effort of other student leaders, the Ssempijja government set an ad hoc committee to review this policy and also task the University administration to make accountability. The committee filed a report on which the GRC house based on to see this dream come true.
Through his official social media accounts, Prof. Barnabus Nawangwe, the University Vice Chancellor, has confirmed the resolution of the University Council to suspend the impugned 15 percent Cumulative Tuition Increment Policy.
However, he has also been categorical and unequivocal that this suspension will only last for two years and that this move was motivated by the University Council’s desire to mitigate the economic burden on the students, parents and guardians orchestrated by the Corona virus pandemic. It is hoped that this policy will be fully and indefinitely suspended.