University of Juba students decry fees hike
Several students at the University of Juba have decried the recent rise in tuition fees and the introduction of an extra amount of USD 100 in developmental fees saying most of them cannot afford the new fees.
The university's Vice Chancellor Prof. John Akec announced that the institution's senate had resolved to revise tuition fees and levy a USD 100 fee on all students during a fundraiser last week.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, several students said they are not happy with the rise because the economic situation is not favorable and most of them will drop out of school because they cannot afford to pay the new fees.
One final-year student, Charles Onyang, said they are shocked by the fee hike decision.
“We were expecting that there would be an increase because it is what they do every academic year. For example, in the first year, I paid SSP 14,000, in the second year SSP 36,000, SSP 68,000 in the third year, and I will be demanded USD 600 next year, “Onyang said. “It is a bad move anyway because most students will not afford given the economic crisis in the country.”
He called on the government to intervene by subsidizing the university fees to reduce the burden on students.
Another student, Deng Deng, said when the fee increment is implemented he may not be able to finish his studies.
“When I first joined I paid SSP 900 in tuition fees. Now I am asked to pay almost an equivalent of USD 600 in pounds plus the development fees it will go to about USD 800,” he said. “Now, I am a third-year natural resources student. I think I will not be able to continue my studies, I will just struggle to find money to take me back to my state.”
A third-year student, John Machuek, said the increase is not justifiable.
“This is a government university, not private. Why this increase?” he asked. “Some colleges like mine increased fees to SSP 254,000 from SSP 94,000. As for me, I can afford it, there is no problem. What about other students? People are not at the same (economic) level.”
Onyang, Deng, and Machuek appealed to the government and the University of Juba administration to have the fee hike decision reconsidered.