GRADUATE: Former 2023 Student Representative Council (SRC) vice president at the Rundu Campus and affected prospective graduate Joseph Kazangile. Photo Nikanor Nangolo
GRADUATE: Former 2023 Student Representative Council (SRC) vice president at the Rundu Campus and affected prospective graduate Joseph Kazangile. Photo Nikanor Nangolo

Unam students with outstanding fees in limbo

Those affected ‘unable to apply for jobs’
The university will no longer update students' records to 'degree obtained' until they have cleared all outstanding tuition fees.
Nikanor Nangolo
Students on the verge of graduating from the University of Namibia (Unam) have voiced frustration and disappointment over a recent decision to withhold academic records until outstanding tuition fees are paid.

The decision, according to the students, hampers their ability to get jobs to be able to settle their fees. “These outstanding debts were accumulated in various ways,” former student representative council (SRC) vice-president at the Rundu campus, Josef Kazangile, said earlier this week. He has also been affected by the university’s decision, and is due to graduate next month.

He said having an updated academic status is crucial for applying to jobs as employers require proof of completion. “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 are 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.

Revisit the decision

According to Kazangile, they only learnt about the change last month – mere weeks from graduation.

“We learnt that students who owe the university received an ‘outstanding fees to be paid’ status, which was different from all the previous years. On 10 February, we wrote a letter to the Rundu campus management in which we expressed our dissatisfaction, and requested a meeting,” he said.

“On 16 February, we received a response from the campus management - through head of academics Mathilde Shihako - in which we were informed that the decision was beyond campus level and [they] thus refused to meet our group. On 15 February, we addressed the issue with the SRC congress through the SRC for finance, to which we have not received a response to date.

“On 20 February, we wrote a letter to the registrar explaining how we were negatively affected by the decision, and recommending that the decision be revisited," he said.

Kazangile added that they also made a telephonic follow-up, but have yet to receive a formal response from the office of the registrar.

“However, through a telephonic follow-up, Webster Likando [from the bursary office] indicated that our letter was received and escalated to Unam’s top management.”

Amicable resolution

"On 10 March, we wrote to Unam vice-chancellor Professor Kenneth Matengu, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss this matter, but we never got any response from his office either," the student said.

“We want to make it categorically clear that we are still open to engage with the university and see how best we can resolve this issue amicably.”

The group recommended that the university update or complete students’ transcripts and “give them to us so that we can use it to get opportunities”.

Should the institution fail to respond, they will “mobilise and unite all the affected students across all Unam campuses" as well as student leaders and parents,” Kazangile said.

“We are still going to engage [activist] Michael Amushelelo to stand with us as we boycott the graduation slated for 16 April,” he added.

Unam could not be reached for comment on the matter.

[email protected]

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Namibian Sun 2024-04-25

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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 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° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.69 | EUR to NAD 20.35 | CNY to NAD 2.62 | USD to NAD 18.98 | 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 18.98 | USD to ZMW 26.35 | 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$ 2 328.80/OZ UP +0.54% | Copper US$ 4.52/lb UP +1.85% | Zinc US$ 2 866.10/T UP 2.12% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.02/BBP UP +0.03% | Platinum US$ 904.81/OZ UP +0.30% 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 23.69 | EUR to NAD 20.35 | CNY to NAD 2.62 | USD to NAD 18.98 | 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 18.98 | USD to ZMW 26.35 | 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$ 2 328.80/OZ UP +0.54% | Copper US$ 4.52/lb UP +1.85% | Zinc US$ 2 866.10/T UP 2.12% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 88.02/BBP UP +0.03% | Platinum US$ 904.81/OZ UP +0.30%