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Over 600 Gulu University Students Miss Exams Over Tuition Arrears :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Over 600 Gulu University Students Miss Exams Over Tuition Arrears

This follows a directive issued by the University Vice Chancellor Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah instructing all teaching and technical staff not to allow any student to sit for examinations without making full tuition payment.
Students walk out of the Gulu University main campus gate recently. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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A total of 654 students of Gulu University have been blocked from sitting end-of-second-semester examinations for failing to fully settle their tuition and functional fees.

This follows a directive issued by the University Vice Chancellor Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah instructing all teaching and technical staff not to allow any student to sit for examinations without making full tuition payment.

In an April 6, 2023 circular, Prof. Openjuru noted that a number of students who had in the past been given provisional clearance to sit for the examinations have continuously failed to fulfill their commitments to pay outstanding arrears.

“Any person (s) who will allow any student to sit for end-of-semester examinations without clearing University fees to zero balance shall be held personally liable,” reads part of the circular sent to the University academic registrar, all deans and directors, University bursar, all staff and students.

Examinations started on Monday at the University with at least 4,539 enrolled students expected to sit in the next two weeks.

The University Deputy Public Relations Officer James Ojok Onono however told Uganda Radio Network today that only 3,390 students had cleared their tuition fees to zero balance by Wednesday.

He says whereas the University had been pardoning some students who pleaded without paying, it had become a culture for some students not to pay their tuition fees for close to three semesters.

According to Onono last semester alone, more than 300 students were given provisional clearance to sit for the end of the first semester examinations, but few among them managed to clear their arrears including this semester’s tuition.

He says accrued tuition fees from students had already risen to more than two billion shillings adding that the University couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

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Onono says sponsored students haven’t been affected by the University’s decision adding that they will make follow up with their sponsors. He however notes that the University management and the student’s guild leadership are yet to meet on the fate of students who missed some exams,but made full payments later on how they can be given special papers to sit.

By Thursday morning, several students who were blocked from sitting examinations had thronged the academic registrar’s office to apply to sit for 'special papers' next semester.

According to information Uganda Radio Network established, students who haven’t been able to sit for any paper this semester and failed to clear their arrears will likely be forced to apply for a dead year or withdraw.

At least three University staff have also been blocked from sitting their examination for failing to clear their tuition arrears.

Gulu University Guild President Francis Okot noted that they are currently engaging with the University administration and other stakeholders to ensure that the affected students sit for their examinations.

He says whereas the University is right in demanding accrued tuition fees from the students, the majority who haven’t been able to settle in the arrears come from families that are experiencing economic hardships.

According to the Gulu University payment policy, students are allowed to pay in installments with at least half of the tuition and functional fees paid by the first two weeks when a new semester starts, while full payments must be made two weeks before the examination starts.

The University currently has a total enrollment of 4,539 students.

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