By Nqobile Tshili
NATIONAL University of Science and Technology (Nust) students have raised concern over the institution’s “steep” graduation fee forcing the institution of higher learning to convene a meeting to consider their concerns.
The university has pegged the graduation fee at $600 for its 29th graduation ceremony pencilled for November 7.
“The Graduation Fee of $600.00 including transcripts and certificates is payable between now and the Rehearsal day via this website or alternatively as cash or swipe at the Bursar’s Department,” reads the university’s notice on its website.
However, students who spoke to The Chronicle said the graduation fee was too high as it does not cover everything related to their big day.
“In all fairness it does not make sense that the university is charging $600. We understand that prices of most goods and services have gone up but I still believe that the fee is just too high. Besides the transcript and certificate what are the other costs that are pushing the fee to be so high. Other universities are charging half the fee, for example Lupane State University is charging $300 for its forthcoming graduation,” said Miss Soneni Moyo.
Another student who identified herself as Tracy said after being charged a $600 graduation fee, they are also expected to buy their gowns.
“The graduation fee does not cover everything. We still have to buy our graduation gowns. The graduation gown costs about $500. If we are to include the graduation fee, we will need over $1 100 before factoring costs such as clothing. No one wants to graduate wearing old clothes. Some will be coming from out of Bulawayo, the costs keep increasing,” she said.
Mr Tawanda Chireya said the graduation fee was even higher than fees charged per semester in some faculties.
“There are some departments that are paying $500 fees for the whole semester yet we are being charged $600 for a day’s graduation. Does that make sense? If I had my way, I would easily boycott the event but still the university would demand the money when I come for my transcript and certificate so we are in a fix,” said Mr Chireya.
Contacted for comment, Nust’s director for communication and marketing Mr Felix Moyo said the university was considering students’ concerns.
He said in coming up with the graduation fee, the university had done its costing in line with the prevailing economic environment.
“However, the committee of academic ceremonies is expected to sit soon with one of the issues to be discussed being the graduation fees. So, at the moment, we cannot say that the graduation fees will be reduced or what. Costing was done considering the hyperinflationary environment. But we also have heard the concerns of our graduands,” Mr Moyo said. The Chronicle