LSU bars students from writing exams over fees
Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
LUPANE State University (LSU) is allegedly barring students who have not paid their fees from writing final examinations, in defiance of a Government directive.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development directed all higher learning institutions not to bar students from attending lessons and writing examinations.
Instead, the Ministry directed the universities and colleges to withhold results for owing students until they pay.
However, scores of LSU students are said to have failed to sit for their examinations on Monday over failure to pay fees.
One of the affected students said the university was also rejecting bank transfers.
“I had done an RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) to the LSU bank account but when I brought the bank statements so that I could register, officials at the registrar’s office said they were not recognising RTGS payments as it takes longer for the money to reflect in the university’s account,” said one of the students.
She said as a result, she failed to register and was barred from writing her first examination.
Another student said he could not register as he did not have the money.
“It’s not like I don’t want to register. But I don’t have the money. I have attended lectures, wrote assignments but being barred from writing examinations is really cruel. The economic situation is bad, if I had the money I would have paid,” he said.
LSU spokesperson Mr Zwelithini Dlamini said the university does not recognise unregistered students.
“Those who were not allowed to write their examinations are those who did not register. Registration can’t be waived because registration identifies them with the university. It defines them as bonafide students who can benefit from university programmes, including writing examinations,” he said.
Mr Dlamini said it was incorrect for individuals to cite their cases as a reflection of university’s policy.
He said LSU has been lenient with students who have shown commitment to payment of fees.
“Everyone who registered was accepted and are writing their examinations including some who have challenges with finances but have put down something and negotiated for payment plans. As far as I know even the Vice Chancellor has agreed that those who have made down payments should be allowed to write their examinations,” he said.
Mr Dlamini said the university was encouraging other forms of payment besides the RTGS as it was taking longer to be processed.
This comes at a time when the Government has started engaging financial institutions to handle a loan facility to cater for students struggling to pay fees.