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Universities Cannot Demand Fees Exclusively In Foreign Currency - Deputy Minister

1 month agoWed, 27 Mar 2024 07:33:48 GMT
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Universities Cannot Demand Fees Exclusively In Foreign Currency - Deputy Minister

The Government has said that universities and polytechnics must accept fee payments in both local and foreign currencies, aligning with the country’s laws on the multi-currency regime.

Simelisizwe Sibanda, the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science, and Technology Development, emphasized that no currency should be rejected by universities during an interview with The Sunday News. He said:

As a Ministry what we are reiterating is that we should at least pay university fees which will make our institutions develop.

Government policy is clear in that we are in a multi-currency regime and no currency can be rejected in universities, the position is that all currencies are accepted.

Unfortunately, this situation went the route it took, which initially needed the university to sit with the student body and iron out without necessarily going to court.

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It is a waste of money on the student side because we are saying they do not have money, and now the little that they have is going to the lawyers.

For those students who cannot afford to pay the university fees, there is the work-for-fees programme which caters for the less privileged students, taking from the President’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.

So if those children cannot afford to pay, they can approach their universities to be included in this facility.

The government has all the apparatus that are in place to ensure that students access education and at the same time ensure that the universities remain conducive to offering the top-notch education which we envisage for the development of our nation.

Recently, the High Court took action by blocking the Midlands State University (MSU) from demanding fees exclusively in United States dollars.

Instead, the institution has been directed to allow students the option to pay in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate.

Harare High Court judge Justice Davison Foroma issued this ruling following an urgent application by three MSU students: Sabelo Saimano, Solomon Goredema, and Simbarashe Muzorori.

These applicants, who are pursuing a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), sought an urgent order from the High Court through their legal representatives, Wintertons Legal Practitioners.

Their request was to allow payment of the US component of their fees and levies in local currency, aligning with the prevailing interbank rate.

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