Members of the East Africa Community Students’ Union (EACSU) have recommended that partner states harmonize tuition fees charged by universities to students within the bloc.
The students made the call at the end of their three day general assembly held at the School of Finance and Banking in Kigali.
Quite often interests on trade and commerce overshadow other areas that are pertinent to the process of regional integration.
That’s why protocols on opening up trade links that include customs union and common market take precedent as we have seen within the EAC.
However, there are equally some other sectors that need due attention and to move at the same pace as those around which the economies of the region revolve, if the citizens are to benefit from the true fruits of integration.
One such sector is education. That’s why the call made by EACSU students to harmonize tuitions fees deserves attention from the member states, as well as the EAC secretariat.
Since the standards of education within the region vary, there should be a move to tap from the different experiences as a strategy to build a region, not only dependent on natural resources, but also a skilled human capital base.
One strategy of attaining this, is a formula to make the tuition fee uniform within member states.
The region could kick start this process with simple initiatives like student exchange programs in high institutions of learning.
Otherwise, if we are talking free movement of people and labour, we can only achieve the desired goals if this labourforce is sufficiently skilled to compete on the global labour market.