By Julius Kyamanywa
As the new academic year draws nearer, Makerere university has changed the fees payment policy for international students. According to the circular released early this month, all payments including tuition and functional fees will be made in Ugandan shillings.
"....the university will not allow any cheques or drafts in foreign currency nor will it allow foreign currency cash", the statement read. The circular was signed by the university Bursar Ben Byambabazi.
The circular further reads that continuing students whose fees had been quoted in foreign currency will be given a standard coversion rate to enable them pay in Ugandan shillings.
Jackie Ayoreka, the assistant Bursar says the change in policy is due to the inconvinience associated with foreign currencies at the institution.
"The changes resulted from the fact that foreign cheques take so long to get credited to the account and this affects students because we cannot credit their financial statements until such cheques mature", she said in a mail interview on Monday.
Waweru Eliud, a Kenyan student at the university this change of policy is not because of the inconviniences as Ayokera says but just a poorly run financial system at the institution.
"It's not that cheques take long to mature but it's just the 'fake' system of the university", he said.
Waweru, however, supports the univeristy policy if is meant to mitigate the effects of the current financial crisis.
He said: "If it has anything to do with the credit crunch, then it's fine".
Ayoreka does not agree with Waweru in this regard. She says "the change was not due to the global crisis", adding that financial system at the University is in uganda shillings so foreign currency must be converted.
International students at Makerere university have been paying in foreing currencies while others in the Ugandan shillings. With the new policy, foreign individual and organisational sponsors have been advised to directly bank fees for the students on the University account by the way of Electronic Fees Transfer(EFT) to 'avoid financcial losses associated with handling cash'.
The new policy takes effect from the coming Academic year 2009/2010 slated to start in August this year.