LUPANE State University (LSU) yesterday barred students who had not paid registration fees from attending lectures and accessing the university’s facilities.

The students said the university is demanding $350 upfront in order for them to be granted access into the institution.

The university opened on February 4 for the second semester of its academic year.

Students who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday said the university was insensitive to their plight as parents and guardians were struggling to pay fees due to economic hardships.

“It’s not that we do not want to pay the registration fees, but we don’t have the finances. They increased the registration fee from $200 to $350 and are unwilling to compromise.

“University officials said they won’t admit us into classes and have placed security guards at the institution’s entrance to ensure we don’t enter lecture rooms,” said one LSU student.

LSU director of marketing and communication Mr Zwelithini Dlamini said the university would not budge in demanding that students pay their registration fees up front.

“When the university opens, we give students a two weeks’ grace period to register and regularise their relationship with the university.

“When that two weeks period lapses we bar them from accessing the university’s premises as a way of encouraging them to register as students,” said Mr Dlamini.

He said if students do not register, it makes it difficult for the higher and tertiary education institution to identify genuine students and those who just want to abuse the institution’s resources.

Mr Dlamini said late registration by some of students was negatively affecting the university as lecturers are pressured to ensure they catch up with other students.

“Registration allows the university to provide them with amenities. Once the students are registered they want to access services, they are part of certain clubs which have to be paid for.

“They will need to travel but when the institution says it does not have money for them to partake in these activities they will not understand,” said Mr Dlamini.

He said the university is owed substantial amounts of money resulting in it struggling to pay some service providers.

Mr Dlamini said the university is aware of the economic hardships prevailing in the country, hence its decision to demand that they pay registration fees and come up with a payment plan.Herald