23rd September 2023
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Uganda scraps student pass fees for South Sudanese students – AMB Juac

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, September 7, 2023

Amb. Simon Juac Deng, South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda speaks on Eye Radio's Dawn Show. June 21, 2023. | Photo: Awan Moses/Eye Radio

The government of Uganda has waived student pass fees for South Sudanese students in higher learning institutions.

This is according to Simon Juac Deng, the Ambassador of South Sudan in Uganda.

He said in the past, the Ugandan government required every South Sudanese student in higher learning institutions must pay about $100 dollars for a year as student pass fees.

The students raised the concern to the embassy several times and after exerted effort by the embassy with the Ugandan government, the fees have now been waived.

This is based on the protocol on the establishment of the East African Community Common Market, a free movement of persons, which stipulates that a citizen admitted as a student in a partner state will be issued a student pass without a fee.

In two letters from the Ugandan permanent secretary, Ministry of EAC Affairs, the Republic of South Sudan has continuously raised the issue of payment of student fees by its nationals in Uganda given that it waived student pass fees for Ugandans in South Sudan.

The Ugandan government wrote that in the spirit of reciprocity, with immediate effect, students from South Sudan undertaking education in Uganda are exempted from payment of student pass fees.

The foreign affairs ministry of Uganda has also presented compliments to the embassy of South Sudan in Kampala and recognized the EAC protocol.

Diplomat Juac welcomed the move, saying this would reduce the burden on the students and their parents.

“It is a great day for South Sudanese students across learning institutions in Uganda because, for a long time, they have been charged as international students to pay student pass fees. When this came to our attention I have been really, with my team trying to advocate so that this waiver we see was lifted,” Amb Juac told Eye Radio from the Ugandan capital Kampala.

“We are thankful to the government of Uganda, especially the Ministry of East Africa Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, They served us with a letter this afternoon waiving student pass fees for South Sudanese students studying across Uganda.”

Ambassador Juac went on to the embassy is also working on ways to waive the three-month visa expiration day for the parents and guardians of the students staying in Uganda.

“Our next step now, we also have the next category, we have families who are with these students, but we also have been asking, okay, what of the parents, the guardians who are staying with these students because they don’t have to go back after three months of the visa and leave the students here,” said Amb Juac.

“That is the next challenge we are looking at but again these things are all based on reciprocity, so now if we start with the guardians and the families supporting children here to be in school, there will also be that requirement,” he said.

“If it is waived for us, we will waive it in case Ugandans cross into South Sudan and they have students who are in learning institutions there and want to be close to their families.”

According to diplomat Juac, there are about 30,000 South Sudanese in various universities across Uganda.

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