Deputy Higher Education Minister Godfrey Gandawa has moved in to reassure the nation that government will not allow universities to hike fees to meet the salary demands of lecturers.
This follows reports in the state-controlled Herald that the cash-strapped government is considering cutting off salaries for state universities or make them meet a certain percentage, a development students vow to resist as they claim it will lead to a hike in tuition fees.
Government funds universities through grants and pays salaries of lecturers and other workers. It has been struggling to pay the universities leading to crippling industrial action by university lecturers.
Government owes institutions of higher learning $61 million in cadetship fees and $1 million has been set aside for this year’s programme.
Zimbabwe has about 8 state universities.
Gandawa said the government wants universities to be more innovative.
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Educators Association president, Alois Muzuwe, refused to comment on the development saying they are yet to be consulted.
Most students in Zimbabwe continue to face a number of challenges ranging from high tuition fees to unavailability of proper accommodation facilities.
According to Avoid Masiraha of the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union, there is a lot of doubt that universities will be able to generate any income.