GASABO - Last year, 35 students paid tuition fees to the tune of $720 each to study with the University of South Africa (UNISA), under the long-distance learning programme.
But now, eighteen months down the road the students’ dream has become a receding mirage.
Some students allege that, after receiving their payments, UNISA was supposed to send study materials to students in Kigali through the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), through whom the payments were made.
UNISA’s long-distance programme in Rwanda is coordinated by the KIE management.
“We have been kept in the dark. We paid the tuition fees and the university is neither sending study material nor refunding our money,” an angry student who had enrolled for a programme in development studies, lamented yesterday.
He said they petitioned the KIE administration to resolve the matter but without success.
“KIE must also answer because we don’t know UNISA. We paid after KIE guaranteed us,” the student added.
Another student, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, alleges that he had paid the money after he was assured that studies would begin early last year.
“We have been treated badly yet we paid our money. They are not even telling us what went wrong,” a student who had enrolled to study public administration said.
“These students should stay calm because currently the institute has no money. We shall refund them around October this year.
I don’t know exactly what went wrong with UNISA,” said KIE’s Vice Rector in charge of Finance and Administration, Alphonse Kamali.
Howevwer, the UNISA coordinator at KIE, Everest Gahima, said that students who didn’t receive study materials had paid insufficient tuition fees.
“We contacted UNISA and they told us that the students had not paid enough money to cover all the modules they wanted. But KIE is going to refund them,” Gahima explained.
Asked why UNISA was not refunding the money instead, Gahima said: “we don’t know why they are not refunding actually.”