Students subscribing to the East Africa Community Students Union (EACSU) have come up to push for the harmonisation of school fees charged by some universities to students from within the bloc.
Universities and other institutions of higher learning have been over charging students from member countries regarding them as foreign students but the new body wants this changed.
The students said this at the end of the three-day EACSU general assembly that convened in Kigali to formulate the 2010 plan of action for the body.
“We want universities in East Africa to treat students from the community the same way and stop charging students from member countries like they would charge those from outside the regional bloc,” said EACSU president Festo Kiswaga.
Speaking at the closing of the General Assembly at the School of Finance and Banking (SFB), the Minister of Education Dr. Charles Murigande said that the respective Education Ministries have discussed the issue and a decision is yet to be taken.
“We have been having meetings and we discussed about the integration of the education sector, merging of the curricula, and the school fees issue among other things and these are yet to be agreed upon,” said Murigande.
Speaking to The New Times, the acting rector of SFB, Dr. Papias Musafiri Malimba commended the students for the move to change the policy in EAC.
“It is a credible move by EACSU because it has been hindering free movement of students in East Africa and yet we are one people,” he said.
“You find a student from Rwanda, if he or she enrolls in a university in Uganda is charged a different fee from the natives and yet he or she has parents living in the country,” he said.
Murigande applauded the students for their efforts and said that such actions will help them nurture the spirit of collaboration as future leaders in the bloc.
In their plan of action, the students agreed to put emphasis on research and promoting English as a language of communication.
They also requested the President Paul Kagame through the Minister of Education to be the patron of EACSU.