HUNDREDS of Bindura University of Science Education students yesterday approached the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry in Harare claiming the institution wanted to bar them from proceeding with their studies until they passed modules they had failed.
The students, who were on industrial internship until the opening of the new semester in August, said they were shocked when the university told them that as part of the new regulations — under ordinance section 2 of 2015 to 2017 — they would have to de-register and return only after passing the failed modules.
Students who had gathered at the ministry’s offices in the morning said they did not receive prior communication regarding the new decree as the old rules allowed them to continue with their studies and rewrite failed subjects.
“The university did not formally communicate the new development until early this month, leaving us facing deregistration despite having paid the fourth year fees, so we want to have audience with the top ministry officials that the change of rules, which happened while we were on attachment and which we were not notified of, should not apply to us,” said one student.
NewsDay saw a letter written by the students to the ministry demanding clarity on the issue and seeking the audience of officials.
Another student said they had not signed acknowledgements of the new regulations and thus they would not apply to them.
Unlike other State universities that offer free supplementary exams for failed modules, Bindura University is the only one in Zimbabwe that charges $70 to retake a failed module.
“It’s now only three weeks towards exams and the university tells us that we are not registered, it’s really painful. They should have communicated it earlier so that we could have prepared for some better options,” said another student, who also declined to be named.
Bindura University vice-chancellor Eddie Mwenje and Higher Education ministry officials could not be reached for comment.