The Chancellor of Makerere University, Mondo Kagonyera, says the 40 percent increment in tuition fees at Uganda's public universities is necessary to fund the growth and activities of the institutions.
Professor Kagonyera says that while he had little say in the hiking of the fees, he understands the need for the move. He says inadequate funding is crippling almost all the activities of Makerere University and financing from government and donor agencies is no longer sufficient to cater for increases in student numbers.
There has been widespread protest to the 40 percent fee increment since it was announced last week. Most of the criticism is based on the arguments that the current economic conditions do not favor a sudden rise in tuition fees. There is also concern that students from poor families will not be able to afford the fees.
Professor Kagonyera says he is aware that the increment will lock out a number of poor students. He says it is therefore imperative to lobby donors and other funding institutions to provide bursaries to poor students.
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The Makerere Chancellor says the quota system used to ensure regional balance in public university admissions is not achieving the purpose for which it was established. He says that students from the best regional schools, who obtain the best results, are the only beneficiaries. Those in real need of aid are left out of the process.