The University of Nairobi has deregistered thousands of students due to non-payment of fees. In an email sent to students, the administration has issued a notice to students who haven’t cleared their fee balances.
“The University Of Nairobi wishes to inform all students with fees balance to clear the balances with immediate effect. Students who fail to clear their balances will cease to have access to all services provided by the University and will be deregistered within the next forty-eight hours,” the email read.
However, on the students’ management Portal, the university posted, “any student with fees balance has been deregistered until it is cleared in full.”
We asked a student with arrears to log into his account and for sure he had been locked out. Instead, he was advised to clear his fees balance.
“Sorry, you have a fees balance of KES. 200. Your account has been disabled,” the message read.
This comes at a time when students are about to begin their end of year examinations with thousands of them depending on the Higher Education Loans Board, which has been facing cash constraints.
“I haven’t received bursary from HELB,” said Kevin Jalema, a student who has been depending on HELB.
Babu Owino, Chairman of Students Organization of Nairobi University (SONU), has insisted that any student with fees Balance must be allowed to sit for examinations as this is their “constitutional right.”
Speaking to Capital Campus, Irene Kendi, Vice Chair of Students Organization of the Nairobi University (SONU) said any attempts to lock students out of examination room will be met “with resistance of the highest order and the university should not even think about it”.
Students in public universities have been caught in between university administration and HELB over fees. A majority of students depend on the HELB loans. JKUAT students rioted last month over the same issue after the admin insisted on fees before exams.
In May this year, police clashed with rioting students over what was termed as ‘a proposal to increase school fees”, a move which was later withdrawn. The day long protest received international attention and was reported on leading international media.
In September, students again clashed with the police when HELB delayed disbursement of fees to students. There are reports that the Commission for Higher Education is planning to increase fees starting January 2015, a move student leaders have vowed to resist.