Undergraduate students of the University of Ghana, Legon are kicking against proposed utility fees of up to over GHC2,000 starting from the 2016/17 academic year.
Proposed fees for water and electricity for non-resident students have been pegged at GHC922 and GHC2,326 for residents.
The increases are part of measures being considered by the University to clear debts owed utility companies.
Total debt figures owed the utility companies by the University is not clear, but sources say electricity bills alone exceed GHC21 million.
Treasurer of the University of Ghana Students’ Representation Council (SRC), Prince Ampofo Amoah, describes the proposed utility bills as exorbitant.
“This is very harsh because Humanities undergraduate students are paying less as tuition fees,” said Prince Amoah on Pulse, a current affairs programme on the Joy News Channel on Multi TV, Monday. The proposed fees are yet to be approved by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ministry of Education, however, students say the proposed bills should not even come up in the first place.
The SRC Treasurer said during a meeting of representatives of students, lecturers, and the school’s management, the University made the announcement about the planned utility fees charges to the surprise of many members of the meeting.
“As a representative of the students on the Council [of students, lecturers, and university board], I thought I should sensitise students on what is likely to pop up,” he Prince Amoah explained to the host of Pulse, Francis Abban.
Meanwhile, the University has also proposed increases in tuition fees for the next academic year, a move students say could cause them to defer their causes if implemented.
The University’s board is proposing a total of 10 percent increase in charges for tuition, heath care, registrations among others.
Students want Government and the University’s Board to review the proposed increases since an implementation would mean very difficult times ahead in the quest to obtain higher education.