DILEMMA: UNAM recently clarified its decision to withhold academic records until outstanding tuition fees are paid. Photo Contributed
DILEMMA: UNAM recently clarified its decision to withhold academic records until outstanding tuition fees are paid. Photo Contributed

Unam sheds light on outstanding fees dilemma

Nikanor Nangolo
The University of Namibia (Unam) has justified its decision to withhold students’ academic records until their outstanding tuition fees are paid.

This after a group of students voiced frustration and disappointment at a press conference last week, saying the institution’s decision hampers their ability to get jobs to be able to settle their fees.

According to public relations and media operations manager Simon Namesho, the university has “historically withheld students’ qualification certificates while allowing access to academic transcripts/records to encourage graduands to settle their outstanding fees”, with the expectation that they return to pay their dues and collect their certificates.

“However, this approach did not yield the expected results, leading to an accumulation of unclaimed certificates and rising debts, putting the university’s finances at risk,” he explained.

He added: “Since the end of 2023, this guiding principle has been amended. The university now restricts access to both the qualification certificates and the academic transcripts or records of those who have not cleared their dues. Students have been informed about this potential consequence of not paying their dues throughout 2023”.

According to him, this change aims to ensure that graduates settle their financial obligations.

“Graduates can contact the university’s finance department to explore payment options for settling their dues, enabling them to obtain their certificates and gain access to their academic transcripts/records. Despite these restrictions... graduands are still allowed and welcome to attend their respective graduation ceremonies.”

Prior notice

Last week, former student representative council (SRC) vice-president at Unam’s Rundu campus, Josef Kazangile, bemoaned the university’s decision, saying academic records are crucial when applying for jobs as employers require proof of completion of studies.

“Previously, once a student completed their studies, the academic record was updated to ‘degree obtained’ status and their academic records or transcripts were given to them, while the university withheld their qualifications [until their fees were settled].

"Now, the university decided not to update the status of our academic records to 'degree obtained', nor give us our transcripts. This situation has made us unable to apply or be shortlisted for any post in our fields,” he lamented.

The disgruntled students claimed that they only learnt about the policy change last month – mere weeks from graduation - but Namesho said prior notice and reminders were issued, encouraging students to settle their fees.

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Namibian Sun 2024-04-25

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 326.08/OZ UP +0.42% | Copper US$ 4.51/lb UP +1.59% | Zinc US$ 2 860.10/T UP 1.92% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.03/BBP UP +0.04% | Platinum US$ 903.48/OZ UP +0.15% Sport results: Premier League: Manchester United 4 vs 2 Sheffield United | Everton 2 vs 0 Liverpool | Crystal Palace 2 vs 0 Newcastle | Wolves 0 vs 1 Bournemouth | Arsenal 5 vs 0 Chelsea LaLiga: Sevilla 2 vs 1 Mallorca SerieA: AC Milan 1 vs 2 Inter Milan | AS Roma 1 vs 3 Bologna European Championships Qualifying: Coventry City 2 vs 3 Hull City | Leicester City 5 vs 0 Southampton | Middlesbrough 3 vs 4 Leeds United English Championship: Coventry City 2 vs 3 Hull City | Leicester City 5 vs 0 Southampton | Middlesbrough 3 vs 4 Leeds United Weather: Katima Mulilo: 15° | 34° Rundu: 15° | 34° Eenhana: 15° | 35° Oshakati: 17° | 34° Ruacana: 17° | 35° Tsumeb: 18° | 33° Otjiwarongo: 14° | 31° Omaruru: 17° | 34° Windhoek: 15° | 29° Gobabis: 17° | 31° Henties Bay: 15° | 21° Wind speed: 22km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 10:02, High tide: 04:02, Low Tide: 22:08, High tide: 16:27 Swakopmund: 15° | 16° Wind speed: 27km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 04:00, Low Tide: 22:06, High tide: 16:25 Walvis Bay: 15° | 23° Wind speed: 35km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 03:59, Low Tide: 22:06, High tide: 16:24 Rehoboth: 16° | 31° Mariental: 19° | 32° Keetmanshoop: 19° | 32° Aranos: 20° | 33° Lüderitz: 14° | 25° Ariamsvlei: 18° | 31° Oranjemund: 14° | 21° Luanda: 26° | 29° Gaborone: 18° | 31° Lubumbashi: 12° | 26° Mbabane: 15° | 20° Maseru: 12° | 26° Antananarivo: 14° | 26° Lilongwe: 14° | 27° Maputo: 20° | 27° Windhoek: 15° | 29° Cape Town: 16° | 24° Durban: 18° | 23° Johannesburg: 18° | 25° Dar es Salaam: 23° | 26° Lusaka: 18° | 29° Harare: 15° | 29° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.72 | EUR to NAD 20.36 | CNY to NAD 2.62 | USD to NAD 19.01 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.34 | EGP to NAD 0.39 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.72 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.72 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.23 | USD to DZD 134.23 | USD to AOA 834.06 | USD to BWP 13.85 | USD to EGP 47.85 | USD to KES 134.48 | USD to NGN 1277.03 | USD to ZAR 19.01 | USD to ZMW 26.3 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 74513.94 Up +0.68% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1545.38 Up +1.53% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13281.24 Up +0.26% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 25917.59 Down -3.21% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 326.08/OZ UP +0.42% | Copper US$ 4.51/lb UP +1.59% | Zinc US$ 2 860.10/T UP 1.92% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.03/BBP UP +0.04% | Platinum US$ 903.48/OZ UP +0.15%