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University of Juba students protest new tuition fees

Author: Elshiekh Chol Ajing | Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

An entrance to the University of Juba | Credit | Eye Radio

Students of the University of Juba have staged a peaceful demonstration against new tuition fee hikes.

Recently, the administration of the 5 public universities sent out a circular, informing the students of an increase in the amount they should pay for studies. The hike is between SSP 50,000 and SSP 86,000.

The increase comes nearly 2 years after the parliament and the President rejected a similar recommendation by the administration. No one knows how this move passed through the parliament or the President’s desk.

The students say the new fees are unattainable and therefore amounts to a denial of the right to education.

“All of us are facing the same economic challenge that the university administration is complaining about. The salary our parents and guardians get cannot cover for this kind of fees,” said one student who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This morning, the students marched to the office of the vice-chancellor – Professor John Akech – to hand him a petition against the move.

“Once again, we call upon the national government – and more especially the office of the President to come and cancel this illegal collection of money from the student of the University of Juba,” said another student.

Last week, lecturers from the public universities agreed to go on a strike until their demand for a 20% salary increment is met by the government. It is not clear whether this move is one way the lecturers intend to consolidate their arrears.

Eye Radio was unable to reach VC of the UoJ, Professor John Akech for comments.

Meanwhile, the students of Upper Nile University in Juba have also joined in on the peaceful protest against the fees.

Upper Nile University was temporarily relocated from Malakal to Juba as a result of the 2013 civil war.

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