The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has condemned some public universities in Ghana for charging exorbitant academic and residential user facility fees to students in tertiary institutions.
They believe this is a violation of the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2022 (Act 1080), which allows only a 15% increase in academic fees per year.
The University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education Winneba, University of Allied Health, and University of Cape Coast are among the tertiary institutions named by the Union as being involved in the illegal scheme.
In a media address, NUGS President Dennis Appiah Larbi expressed his displeasure with public institutions that had increased academic fees despite the ruled-out laws on fee increment, explaining that the act was unfair to students given current economic conditions.
Unfortunately, laying the bed of illegality is not a precedence that must be set by leaders of
institutions, especially in the face of growing unrest and agitations at the various levels of the
student front. Let me state this, the student front is unhappy about the levels of fees in this country and
that is very straightforward.
He stated that the Union would not accept any unapproved fee increases and demanded an immediate halt to “unapproved” charges by institutions, stating that any “blatant” disregard for the approved 15% threshold would be fiercely opposed.
The University of Ghana has increased AFUF in some departments well over 40%, and
to make matters worse, has also increased RFUF over 70% and in some situations
100%. UCC is also deeply involved with some increment crossing 25%, UCC Faculty of
Social Science has increased fees at a 27% rate. UMAT is doing same with some increment going as high as 40%.
Dennis Larbi also pleaded with the government to ensure that the 15% threshold approved by parliament is adequately enforced and used by authorities with the authority to do so. Additionally, the union requested that students be given the chance to pay 50% of fees and be allowed to undertake their academic and residential registrations “with the outstanding balance paid over the period of the academic year”.
It is important to underscore that no institution uses up all the funds mobilized from fees in the
first semester, practically, a fraction is used in first part of the academic year, with the rest used
up during the year, it is with this view and the current economic situation we call on your office
to direct that institutions gives students the chance to pay 50% and be allowed to register, with
the outstanding balance paid over the period of the academic year.
Meanwhile, NUGS has instructed its members not to pay any fees above the 50% threshold.
We are calling on all tertiary students not to pay any fees increased above the threshold of 15%. We can all do the maths. Stick with 15% maximum, you break no law by not following an illegality.
Story By: Adwubi Wiafe Akenteng| www.univers.edu.gh