UTG Plans to Increase Tuition Fees

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By Assan Bah

In his convocation speech, the Chairperson of the University of the Gambia (UTG) Governing Council, Mr Mathew P. Ndure, revealed that the UTG Governing Council has laid down plans to increase the university tuition fees to avoid fiscal predicament of the UTG due to an increase in operational cost.

He said an area of concern to the governing council is budgeting and financing for the full execution of the strategic priorities adopted as part of the Vice Chancellor’s vision, and implementation of the key areas of the performance agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MoHERST).

According to him, the tuition fees have not increased since 2015 and the operation continues to mount.  

“Because of the contending interests from all sectors on the national budget, shortfalls are being recorded in the government’s subvention to the UTG, leading to gaps in our recurrent costs and resources for planned projects. Internal efforts are being made to generate income from research and consultancy projects, but the systems driving these are at their development stages, and so this is not yet lucrative for the university.

“The governing council has taken a hard look at the situation and has come to the conclusion that the most viable option towards a solution of the fiscal predicament of the UTG is an increase in tuition and other fees,” he said.

Therefore, he added that the Governing Council has developed new rates of fees which have been submitted to the appropriate authorities for consideration.

He further said the government has been subsidizing higher education at a very ‘significant’ level, which according to him will undoubtedly continue.

“However, we all know, and must accept, that high quality university education is not cheap anywhere in the world. We believe that citizens should be prepared to pay a fair share of the cost of quality higher education for their children and the wards.

“Being no stranger to our social expenditure inclinations, the Governing Council is advocating a resetting of our priorities as a people. It should be a proud feeling of national duty to be part of the effort to make the UTG match the best in academia globally,” he added.