General News of 2014-05-10

UEW faces court action over exploitative fees

The University of Education Winneba is steeling itself for a class action suit by about 100 graduate students after it fined them for submitting their thesis late.

The students who have already been graduated in the 2013/2014 academic year, are being asked to pay between 1000 and 7000 Ghana cedis before their certificates are released.

The amount is a penalty commensurate with the new academic year’s fees for failing to submit their thesis on time.

The students say the charges are unfair, and would go to court to challenge it.

"How can we owe you when you have graduated us? You have put out our names as students who are graduating, how come all of a sudden we are owing you? It doesn't make sense," an affected student told Joy News.

Another student who accused the university of exploitation suspected the university wants to "cheat students to generate some funds internally".

"We have our clearance forms which have been stamped by the university. We have proof that you told us that we do not owe you".

The students want the court to restrain the university from enforcing this exploitative charge.

"I have lost two Ph.D. opportunities because of this," a female graduate lamented.

But defending the decision, Deputy Registrar in charge of Public Relations, Steve Kammassah, explained that students submitted their thesis after the academic year had ended.

He said this policy has been in place and is found in the University Handbook although it has not been enforced over the years.

"Ignorance of the law is not an excuse," he pointed out.

He said students who have been cleared should bring their evidence to the Graduate school to prove their case.