University students in Zimbabwe expressed outrage at recent large increases in their tuition fees. A student union accused officials of hypocrisy in barring private schools from effecting fee hikes while authorizing massive increases at state schools.
The state-controlled Sunday Mail quoted Permanent Secretary for Higher Education Washington Mbizvo as saying the tuition increases, which ranged from 300% to 2,000%, were reasonable and necessary to accommodate all students.
Ordinary university students must now pay Z$42,000, up from $2,000 previously, while medical and veterinary students will pay $180,000 from $44,000 before.
The Zimbabwe National Students Union blasted the hikes, taking President Robert Mugabe and Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere to task for resisting fee hikes at private schools while approving massive increases for government institutions.
ZINASU Secretary General Beloved Chiweshe told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe that the fee hike is a betrayal of universal education.