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19.07.2004 General News

USAG meets ministry on fees

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Accra, July 19, GNA - The University Students' Association of Ghana (USAG) on Monday said it had accepted to allow a few more days for negotiations between the administrations and student leaderships of public universities on fees to be paid for the 2004/2005 academic year.

This follows discussions between USAG and the sector ministry on July 15, according to a statement signed in Accra by Mr Keli Kwesi Delataa, President and Mr Kwame Amponfi Jnr., Secretary of USAG. The statement said the university authorities were being "encouraged to take advantage of the renewed commitment of students to negotiate as the only way of resolving the utility-user-fee impasse." USAG said pending the outcome of such discussions, freshmen and women and continuing students of all public universities should not pay the new fees for the 2004/2005 academic year.

"Students who for purposes of convenience would want to make some payment should not pay any amount than the fee schedule for last academic year."

USAG said it was committed to a peaceful and uninterrupted academic calendar and would support any effort that sought to make these possible through "frequent and equal interactivity between all stakeholders."

Mr Teddy Konu, Registrar, University of Ghana, Legon, on Thursday described as "a lie" the assertion of the Students' Representative Council (SRC) that it was not consulted on the 2004/2005 academic fees. "If the SRC says it was not consulted in arriving at the 2004/2005 academic fees, it is a lie because they have a representative on the University Council that sat to approve the fees," Mr Konu told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

Explaining the rationale for the increase, Mr Konu said the University had introduced a technology service fee making computer literacy a requirement for every student. He said as part of making fees affordable for the underprivileged, the University would this year admit 300 students free of charge.

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