Student fees remain unchanged: Tjivikua

The 16.67 per cent increase in the deposit on tuition will remain unchanged, Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) Rector Tjama Tjivikua says.

The deposit on tuition increased to N.dollars 3 500 this year. The amount includes a non-refundable registration fee of N.dollars 1 210.

Addressing the PoN’s academic welcoming ceremony here on Thursday Tjivikua touched on the student demonstration which took place on Monday at the main campus, saying students have to pay the fees or go home.

“You either sacrifice your N.dollars 3 500 or you sacrifice your education,” he said.

Last year the deposit on tuition was N.dollars 3 000 of which N.dollars 1 100 was for registration. In 2013, the deposit on tuition was N.dollars 2 200 of which about N.dollars 900 went towards registration itself.

The students held a protest at the main campus, demanding that the deposit on tuition, commonly referred to as the registration fee among students, be reduced.

The registration for senior students commenced earlier this week.

Tjivikua said the increase in fees was implemented to keep up with inflation, stressing that education is not a free service in Namibia, therefore the PoN had to make adjustments to fees as it deemed necessary.

“Our fees at the Polytechnic are not just sucked out of the air, they are compared with other universities and we are not exorbitant as it was mentioned in the petition by the Student Representative Council (SRC) leadership,” he said.

The rector noted that infrastructure has been a challenge and relatively poor at the institution due to inadequate financial support from the government.

“Government funding is highly inadequate. You cannot expect to produce quality graduates if you do not provide the money,” he said.

Tjivikua assured that the students’ needs would be met in 2015, and that the institution will receive the adequate funding it needs from government.

Meanwhile, some Polytechnic students and SRC members were demonstrating against the increased fees during the ceremony.