Prioritise harmonisation of tuition fees

Editor,  THE East African Community (EAC) is a beautiful bloc with diverse people and geography. The launch of the East African Common Market Protocol was a crowning moment. When the ministers of Education from the EAC approved a report to advance the harmonisation of education systems in the region, including education calendar; core subjects; years of study; it was even more momentous, due to the prospects of studying for fewer years in Rwandan universities.
National University of Rwanda main building. Regional universities are yet to charge uniform tuition fees. The New Times/File photo
National University of Rwanda main building. Regional universities are yet to charge uniform tuition fees. The New Times/File photo

Editor,

THE East African Community (EAC) is a beautiful bloc with diverse people and geography.

The launch of the East African Common Market Protocol was a crowning moment.

When the ministers of Education from the EAC approved a report to advance the harmonisation of education systems in the region, including education calendar; core subjects; years of study; it was even more momentous, due to the prospects of studying for fewer years in Rwandan universities.

But this excitement was shortlived with the knowledge that there are still discrepancies in the tuition fees among regional varsities.

At the National University of Rwanda, private students from the bloc pursuing degrees in Economics, Journalism, Communication, Law, pay the same amount of fees as Rwandans, but this is not the case at other universities like Tanzania’s University of Dar es salaam, or Uganda’s Makerere University.

The policy makers, including the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), have the responsibility to reach a consensus by charging East African students uniform tuition fees.

All states have an obligation to respect the spirit of the bloc. Officials should internalise the idea of harmonisation and particularly the uniform tuition fees.

Institutional heads should embrace the East African spirit instead of being preoccupied with preserving their own interests.

Seth Gakuba,

Rwandan student in Uganda

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