Namibia
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Unam owed N$617m, IUM N$61m

University of Namibia (Unam) students owe the institution N$617 million, while International University of Management (IUM) students owe their university N$61 million.

IUM spokesperson Gerry Munyama confirmed the amount owed to his institution, while Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho said as of April, the university is owed a staggering N$617 million by students still enrolled.

More than 25 746 pupils have registered with the institution so far this year.

“Approximately 68% of all enrolled students at the university are supported by the NSFAF. However, students who are no longer enrolled in the university still owe N$166 million, he said.

Munyama said the debt owed to IUM is both from private and Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF)-funded students.

Despite owing the university, the registrar’s office has allowed all students to register for the second semester.

“Management has resolved to extend semester two registration until 1 August. This decision was taken to allow students who could not register, mostly due to financial reasons, to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, the University of Science and Technology (Nust) Students Representative Council (SRC) on Monday said they have engaged the university to ensure students are not disadvantaged during registration.

This comes after the media reported that self-funded students owing Nust complained that they have been blocked from registering for the second semester.

However, following the meeting, the SRC issued a letter stating that all students who have undertaken their outstanding balances, including those who owe the university N$10 000 or less, are eligible to register without paying a registration fee.

“Students with a debt of N$10 001 and above are required to reduce their debt to N$10 000 in order to be able to register,” the notice reads.

According to the notice, students in special circumstances who are not able to reduce their debt to N$10 000, are to consult with the Department of Student Services.

“This is for them to enter into a debt repayment plan through vetting and approval,” the notice reads.

Orphans and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are permitted to register without paying the registration fee, provided that they consult with the department of student services.

“Lecturers are mandated to assist those students who missed out on academic activities due to issues with registration,” the notice stated.

Namesho said no students were blocked from registering for the second semester.

“This year, we implemented a single registration period, which took place in January/February, covering both the first and second semesters,” Namesho said.

During the registration period, students were required to meet the necessary financial obligations or choose from various financing options provided by Unam, such as debit order options.

“At the beginning of the second semester, we opened a registration window that allows students to add modules they might not have registered for during the initial January/February registration period,” he said.

For those students who may not have registered at all in the first semester due to outstanding fees, they have the opportunity to register during this second semester registration window, he said.

“However, registration is subject to them clearing their outstanding accounts or utilising the financing options offered by Unam, including debit order options,” Namesho said.

The aim is to provide as much flexibility as possible to students, while ensuring that all financial obligations are met, he said.

“We want to see our students succeed in their academic pursuits, and we are committed to assisting them in overcoming any financial challenges they may encounter.”

In the first semester, Unam took a step to support Namibian students facing financial challenges.

“A concession was made to allow students who owed N$10 000 or less to register for their courses. This decision aimed to ensure that students could access tertiary education despite having outstanding fees,” Namesho said.