Public varsities asked to maintain fees until parliament approves new one

Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh

Public universities are to maintain their fees and charges as the Finance Ministry works on new ones which will be included in the 2019 budget, the Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh has told parliament.

Responding to a question on what his ministry is doing to stop public universities from charging exorbitant fees, Dr. Prempeh said he had received a letter from the Ministry of Finance which indicates that the new charges will be included in the 2019 budget which is expected to be presented to Parliament during the current meeting.

“Fees for public universities are approved by this House under the Fees and Charges Act and I know that the Ministry of Finance assures us that these charges are being prepared to take effect from year 2019,” the Education Minister said.

“In the mean time, I have sent circulars to all the universities to maintain the charges till Parliament approves the new increases that they so desire, or they so need. So, it is the power of Parliament to set admission fees in this country,” he told parliament.

He also added that “The Ministry, in collaboration with the University Management and Parents, will in the next academic year [2019/2020], introduce the use of a single Admission platform for Public Universities”.

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Parliament is mandated by law to determine fees for public universities through the Fees and Charges Act.

Cost of University forms

Aside the admission fees, the cost of admission forms has also been a bone of contention between universities and the public, with some applicants arguing that the forms are too costly.

Public universities in the country increased the cost of admission forms for undergraduate and diploma courses for the 2018/2019 academic year.

The sharp increase in the cost of admission forms came months after all public universities were directed to cede 34 percent of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to central government.

The University of Cape Coast sold its scratch-card for the 2018/19 admissions of applicants into its undergraduate, diploma and certificate programmes at a cost of GH¢220, an 18 percent increase on the 2017/2018 cost of GH¢180.

The University of Ghana’s undergraduate admissions for the 2018/19 academic year online application e-voucher was sold at GH¢200, also an 18 percent increase on the previous year’s cost of GH¢180.

Ashanti Region-based Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), which sold its admission form at GH¢170 last year, sold it for GH¢200 this year.

The nation’s first private university, Valley View University, sold its undergraduate application form for GH¢120, something previously sold at GH¢100.

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Wisconsin University College, another private university, sold its admission forms for the 2018/2019 academic year at GH¢130 instead of the GH¢100 it sold it in the 2017/2018 academic year.

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