THE University of Zambia (UNZA) will block 8,000 students who owe the institution K58 million in unpaid tuition fees from sitting for examinations if they fail to make the outstanding payments.
And management at the institution has dismissed media reports that students who have not paid fees are being denied access to lectures.
UNZA public relations manager Damaseke Chibale said in a statement yesterday the growing trend of not paying tuition fees by some students has adversely affected smooth operations of the university.
Mr Chibale said generating revenue through tuition fees has been a challenging undertaking for the university despite the flexible mode of payment arrangements it accords to the students.
“Management would like to urge all affected students, without exception, to take advantage of the available provisions for paying tuition fees to avoid any inconveniences.
“The university has a legal obligation to pay salaries for its academic and non-academic staff for them to efficiently and effectively execute their duties for the benefit of the students and society in general,” Mr Chibale said.
He said there is need for students to support the university in fulfilling its mandate by taking advantage of the flexible mode of payment it accords them to promptly pay tuition fees.
“With these friendly tuition fee payment provisions, there is no excuse for students and/or their sponsors to default in honouring their obligations, that is paying tuition fees, particularly if they value university education,” Mr Chibale said.
He said UNZA remains committed to providing equal access to higher education to all people irrespective of their race, creed, language, tribe, social status, colour, nationality, religious or political affiliation.
“Providing quality higher education comes with various unavoidable costs such as teaching and laboratory materials, preparing and marking of examinations, and provision of library and information communication technology services.
“This is in addition to payments on utilities such as electricity, water, sewerage services, medical services as well as general maintenance of equipment and infrastructure,” he said.
Mr Chibale also dismissed media reports that management is stopping students who owe the institution from attending lectures because management is cognisant of the challenges parents, guardians and sponsors face to pay the fees.
UNZA has 24,000 students in over 300 under-graduate and post-graduate programmes across 13 schools and the institute of distance education.