Concerned University of Ghana (UG) students organized the “Ya br3 Mo” demonstration to voice their discontent with the most recent increase in academic facility user fees (AFUF).
Students gathered at the Obra Spot in Accra for the demonstration on today, Friday, February 3, 2023, wearing red and black and holding banners.
Actually, the students had organized buses to transport them from every area of the university’s campus to the meeting place at Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The students want the government to order the institution to reverse its decision to raise tuition over the statutory maximum of 15%.
In regards to the rise in AFUF for the 2022–2023 academic year, the university has cleared the air.
This followed concerns expressed by student leaders that the fee rise exceeded the 15% cap authorized by Parliament.
Registrar Emelia Agyei-Mensah of the University of Ghana released a statement on Monday, January 2, 2023, in an effort to “correct false information being circulated about adjustments of Academic Facility User Fees by the University for the 2022/2023 academic year.”
According to the University, “the adjustments of fees by the University is based on rates approved by Parliament and communicated through the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC).”
It noted that the University has delayed the implementation of a 5% increase for the 2019–2020 academic year granted by Parliament, with the authorization arriving in the middle of the semester.
Though the increase should have been applied owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, student leaders argued for a suspension because of the financial burden the pandemic would have on parents.
“In effect, therefore, the University of Ghana charged students subsidised fees for the 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 academic years, rather than the approved fees,” the statement said.
It stated that after a meeting on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, and internal discussions, the University Council accepted the implementation of the increase, in part because of the high operating costs.
As a result, the increase was implemented using the original 5% for the 2019–2020 school year and the 15 percent approved by Parliament.
Therefore, it gave the assurance that “fees levied for the 2022–2023 academic year are lawful and legally based on approved fee levels as authorized by Parliament” to “students, parents and all stakeholders.”