Contrary to false information being paraded by University of Malawi students, statistics have indicated that University fees in Malawi are the lowest as compared to the rest of the countries in the Southern Region.
In the wake of a recent fee hike by University of Malawi Council, some members of the academia have been blaming government saying it has raised the fees beyond what is required.
However, Malawi has for a very long time over-subsidized tertiary education in the public sector, a situation that has contributed to dwindling standards of university education.
A 2016 World Bank report shows that Malawi is way below realistic levels when it comes to what a university student pays to attain a four-year or 5-year degree of any kind.
Malawi’s annual tuition fee bracket stands between $150 – $330 as compared to Zambia’s $1157- $2660, Zimbabwe $700- 800, Uganda $550 to $1427.
Tanzania is between $635 to $953, Kenya at $1455 to $5376, Botswana $2519 to $ 3672 and South Africa falls between $4665 and $5846.
From the statistics even with the recent fee hike Malawi still stays bottom of the SADC average in as far as university tuition fee is concerned.
Universities world over have moved away from relying on government subventions and are exploring various avenues to raise money through Research and Development among other things.
Under Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s Public Sector Reforms, Malawi’s public universities are being positioned to make own revenue through research and other business-related ventures.
One institution that has already started walking the talk is Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) which has constructed housing apartments, a filling station and is also using land around the campus for profit-making agricultural activities.
Meanwhile, UNIMA Council has said it will stick to the new fee bracket to help government improve standards of education in the country.