The Student’s Representative Council of the University of Ghana has underscored it’s commitment to pursue all means available in order to secure a reduction in the proposed residential fees of the 2019/2020 Academic year.
This upward adjustment in the fees is said to have been decided at a residential board meeting between Management and the Student leaders.
The increment is said to be a little over 30 percent.
It is expected to affect fees of both traditional halls and the University of Ghana Enterprise Limited (UGEL) halls which currently stand at GHS 812.00 and GHS 1,345.00 respectively.
Reports also indicate that residential fees for fresh students, as well as continuing students, who are fresh applicants to any of the four Diaspora halls, namely Limann Hall, Kwapong Hall, Frances Sey Hall and Jean Nelson Hall, may go up by over 70%.
In an engagement with the SRC President, Isaac Agyemang, he said that the UGEL Board wanted the hall fees go high above GHC 2,000 and were unwilling to come down with the price.
“The negotiations started from as high as GHC 2,000.00. At a point, the UGEL Board was unwilling to agree on any bargain less than GHC 2,000.
Isaac Agyemang however assured students that his administration was not in support of the review of the fees and was working on getting a favourable deal.
“We want to make it clear that we are not in support of the adjustment. We are working to get a better bargain that would be favourable to the student interest”.
Reaction of Student Affairs Dean
Dean of Students Affairs of the University, Prof. Godfred Bokpin has explained that the proposed increment in the fees is to raise funds to defray the accumulated debts with the UGEL halls by the end of October in order to avert a possible takeover by the consortium of Banks.
“Fundamentally, there are several issues that require that we scale up a bit, in terms of how much we pay towards residential facilities especially across the Diaspora halls. This is because of the debt we owe the consortium of banks over the the Diaspora halls. We risk losing these halls if we do not take practical steps to adjust the hall fees in order to service the debt.”
Responding to questions on why the increment rate of the UGEL halls was same for the traditional halls, Prof. Bokpin explained the “although the rates are similar, the residential fee for those at the disapora halls is still very subsidized.”
He further stated that some of the traditional facilities such as the Mensah Sarbah Hall and Akuafo Hall Annexes and other properties of the University were presented as collateral for the loan and they risk being taken over by the consortium of banks if the University fails to clear the debt.
He highlighted that the urgency of the matter is on the basis that the University would have to make a payment of 70 million Ghana Cedis to the Consortium of Banks by October 2019.
Story by: Harriet Bio and Manuel Koranteng|universnewsroom.com