GOVERNMENT has increased the number of students who have been selected for bursary for the University of Zambia (UNZA) 2016/2017 academic year from 2,009 to 2,653.
The government has also suspended bursaries for three male students who were inciting riots at the institution last Friday.
Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo dismissed allegations of corruption in the selection of beneficiary students by the Bursaries Committee.
Professor Luo told a press briefing yesterday the increase in the number of beneficiary students followed a request made to the Ministry of Finance for possible additional funding.
She said the request was necessitated by 1,916 appeals from students who had not been selected for bursary for the 2016/2017 academic year.
Prof Luo said priority was given to students from the School of Natural Sciences followed by those doing the Bachelor of Education with Sciences who were all selected and awarded various percentages of sponsorship ranging from 50 to 100.
Last year, the ministry of Higher Education had awarded government bursaries to 2,009 students from UNZA out of the 3,982 students who were eligible for sponsorship
Meanwhile, Prof Luo has suspended the bursaries of three students who invited first year students to the Monk Square last Friday to riot over bursaries.
“I want to give a timely warning to organisers of riots at both the Copperbelt University (CBU) and UNZA that I will never close their schools during my tenure but will not entertain damage to property and I will take appropriate action against any ringleader,” she warned.
Prof Luo said she has a video of the students who were encouraging others to riot.