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Peter Mutharika slashes Unima fees

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University of Malawi (Unima) Chancellor, President Peter Mutharika, on Thursday reduced Unima fees by K50,000.

Mutharika also directed that Chancellor College be opened immediately.

Mutharika announced the reduction during a meeting with university students union leaders at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

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Mutharika told the students that there is a cost for high education standards in the world. But he said there was need for Malawi to attend to the local situations including the income levels for most Malawians.

“Our problem in education goes beyond money. We need quality of university education, access to university education and relevance of that education,” Mutharika said.

Addressing the media after the meeting, State House Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, said the two sides also agreed that mature students should benefit from loans from the Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board.

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“The President said those mature students who are not employed should benefit from the loans,” Kalilani said.

He said the K50,000 reduction fees also applies to mature students but added that the amount is little and hence government will do a needs assessment to determine the loans particular mature students will receive.

Kalilani said Mutharika has also promised to ensure that the loans board gives the loans to only needy and deserving students.

“Because government has removed K50,000, it will have to make a provision of K1 billion to cover the reduced amount,” Kalilani said.

Unima Students Union President, Tionge Sikwese, thanked Mutharika for addressing their cries.

The students have, however, proposed that fees for mature students at Kamuzu College of Nursing be K700,000 while at College of Medicine be K1 million and The Polytechnic K600,000.

“Government will make a statement very soon on these,” he said.

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