The business bazaar at Gulu University entered its third day this morning with only a handful of students as the sudden increase in tuition fees takes its toll on student enrolment.
The annual event, which attracts several small and big business enterprises including corporate companies, is always organized to provide the students, mainly new entrants with an opportunity to easily shop for various items at affordable prices within the campus.
Jackson Odongo ,the Gulu University guild president says the event helps the students to save both money and the time from traveling to shops in the town centre, about five kilometers away from the University.
Despite the intended benefits however, the business bazaar is struggling to attract, freshers who were scheduled to start reporting for the new semester on August 15.
Doreen Namalo, a dealer in arts and craft materials says there are hardly any students buying from her tent.
Whereas she offers no explanation for the low turn up, Namalo says last year, her tent managed to register a high turn up of the new students who bought her materials.
Bridget Akot, a trader in wears for ladies and gents has the same cry. She says the University is virtually empty of any students supposed to be their customers. She says since Saturday when she established her tent, she has not made any business.
At other tents, the traders can be seen wearing disappointed faces.
Odongo explains that the situation could be explained by the sudden increase in the tuition fees, which he says forced parents and the students into last minute re adjustments and re budgeting.
He says that it was disappointing to note that until now, there were only a few new students in sight unlike past years. He says that over 1,000 privately sponsored students were admitted to the University for the new semester.
//Cue in: iThat's the effect#i
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The change in the fees structure, which saw a 40 percent increament in tuition was announced hardly a week to the reporting date for the new students.