First-year students at Hillside Teachers College in Bulawayo are reportedly up in arms with the college`s administration after it increased boarding fees threefold.
At the beginning of the 2019 term, students resident at the campus were required to pay $175 per term as boarding fees.
However, in the latest development the college`s vice principal Linda Sibindi, Tuesday, addressed the affected students informing them that the boarding fees have been increased to $450 per term with immediate effect.
The students were reportedly instructed to pay at least $150 before Friday and failure to do so will result in them being ejected from campus.
Some of the first year students who spoke on condition anonymity told CITE that they are worried about the abrupt increment of the boarding fees when they still have not received tracksuits and student ID’s they had paid for.
“As first years we are required to pay a higher fee which was $660 for the first term as that covers some of the school necessities such as tracksuits and student ID’s,” said a first-year student.
“However, we were told the college is unable to supply us with the tracksuits and student ID’s because it is too expensive and we complied. The issue is the principal insists they gave us letters informing us on the fee hike on the first of January but we did not receive such letters.”
Another first-year student said she is worried about what will happen to students who come from outside of Bulawayo who will be unable to pay the boarding fee.
“Some of us do not stay in Bulawayo we have no idea what will happen to us when we fail to pay the boarding fees as we do not have relatives in Bulawayo,” she said.
A non-resident first-year student pointed out that she is unable to access the college library because the college is yet to supply them with student IDs.
Contacted for a comment Sibindi declined to comment and referred questions to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Professor Amon Murwira said the government is working on availing farmland to tertiary institutions to cut down on costs.
“We do not grow food in tertiary institutions and that causes boarding fees to increase as the cost of food is high,” said Prof Murwira.
The minister said it was government policy that no fees will be increased at all tertiary institutions.
“We are working on a loan scheme for students that will enable them to pay tuition fees if ever we increase tuition fees”.