The National University of Rwanda (NUR) has extended, by two weeks, the registration deadline for new and continuing students.
The earlier deadline had expired on September 15.
The decision to extend the registration deadline comes as a response to the “on-going process of evaluating the appeals of some students, vis-à-vis their ability to pay tuition fees”, according to a communiqué, released on Monday and signed by the university acting rector, Prof Manasse Mbonye.
The government has directed districts to look into the complaints of university students who claim that they were denied government loans after they were ‘wrongly’ categorised under the Ubudehe classification programme.
Under the revised scholarship scheme, the government fully supports only students whose families are in categories one and two of Ubudehe, considered as the poorest of the society. Those in categories three and four have to pay half tuition fees and meet their upkeep while those in categories five and six foot all their tuition and monthly upkeep.
The new system has caused uproar among students, especially those in the 3rd and 4th categories, who argue that they might end up halting their studies if nothing is done to salvage the situation.
Indeed, many of the students, who await the final decision of the reviewers, are yet to report back to their studies while a handful of those who managed to report are continuing with lessons since the academic year opened about two weeks ago.
“We have agreed to temporary allow the unregistered students to attend classes until the [September 30] deadline,” Mbonye told The New Times yesterday, adding that currently, student registration stands at over 60 per cent.
Over 10,000 students, including those on private sponsorships, are registered at the Huye-based university.
When The New Times visited the university yesterday some students said attendance in some classes was still too low, alluding to the fact that many students are yet to report.
A number of unregistered students, who spoke with this paper, said they find it “useless” to report to the university while their fate hangs in balance.
All the students who spoke to The New Times asked not to be identified.
A second year Management student, who hails from Karongi, said she was still waiting for the final decision of the review panel.
“If they put me on the list of those to be supported, I will immediately go [for studies]. But this time I can’t report to school without hope that I will go on with my studies,” the student, who is in the third category, said by phone.
“We can’t raise the money they are asking us to pay. It is a lot,” she said, noting that she has two other siblings who are also at the university and are in the same situation.
Another third year student from Nyamagabe District expressed the same feelings.
“My family is very poor that they cannot fund my education. If I am not retained among those to be supported by the government, I will be compelled to drop out,” the young man said.
The New Times understands that the final list of those to be supported among the ones who submitted complaints is set to be released today, Friday.
Over 6,000 complaints were filed by students from categories that have to pay half or full tuition fees.