The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) chapter of the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has demanded an urgent revision of the fees for public universities for the new academic year.
In a statement jointly signed by its President, Selma Yoda, and Communications Officer, Dennis Akowuah, TEIN stated that, “We must not also forget that if the government intends to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 target for Quality Education, it is important that they address one of the seven target outcomes which is ‘inclusive and equitable quality education.”
This comes on the back of indications of an increase in the fees of public universities for the new academic year.
“The actions taken today do not, unfortunately, put us on the trajectory of pushing the SDG agenda 2030 for education.”TEIN
The group opined that if education is indeed as important as the government puts it, the actions of the administration should be targeted at achieving affordable quality education in tertiary institutions.
USAG DEMANDS SAME
Prior to this, the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) had called on the government to come clear on whether or not it wanted to “wean off” its “responsibilities to public universities across the country fully.”
At a press conference, USAG indicated that “astronomical hikes in school fees of public universities in the country will make access to education become increasingly difficult.”
The group noted that it is about three weeks to the reopening of schools, yet university students are unable to tell their “designated and approved fees for the 2022/2023 academic year.”
According to USAG, “checks from GTEC and parliament indicate that there has been a 15% maximum increase” in fees across the board, as approved by parliament, from the previous academic year.
“Every attempt to increase this will be strongly resisted by our students. This has begun with our students strongly expressing their displeasure over the past week on the various social media platforms.
“Some public universities like KNUST, UCC among others have gone ahead to release provisional school fees for the 2022/23 academic year with very high percentage increments.”
USAG bemoaned the short notice of the increase in fees, taking into consideration “how difficult it will be for most” of its students to continue their education.
The group further continued, saying “The 2023 budget that has been approved by parliament only seeks to worsen our plights in the areas of education, scholarships and subventions to our universities.” It reiterated its position on the 2023 budget as an association and that is, it holds no future for the university student in Ghana.
Members of USAG are worried that with just a few weeks to reopening, students cannot adequately prepare for the upward adjustments in both academic and residential fees given the lack of ample notice. The group also raised concerns over support from the Students Loan Trust Fund and GETFund.
Parliament recently approved a 15% maximum increment in university fees from the previous academic year.