Wisconsin International University College Ghana (WIUC-GH) has issued 6% to 12% discounts on tuition fees to its students taking immediate effects.
The amount ranging between 200 to 300 Ghana cedis is in line with the school’s initiative at mitigating the financial distress many students are faced with as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. Additionally students who have outstanding late registration penalty to make have been waived till the next academic year. Meanwhile students who already paid fees before this concession would have their fees credited the following semester.
This move by the university comes at a time most organizations are reeling from the outbreak of the COVID-19. One of the hardest hit in Ghana are higher education institutions both public and private, with the latter bearing the biggest brunt. Amongst its impact is scuttling the academic calendar and in most cases striking a hefty financial blow on both students and the university as a whole.
While some have succumbed to the virus outbreak since late 2019, many continue to deal with the loss of close relatives and associates to the COVID-19. For the many others lucky to escape COVID-19, there is a greater pandemic they have to contend with; increasing joblessness or loss of livelihood. And for a private university with no subvention from government or adjunct association, the inability of its students to pay fees due to a loss of jobs or have sponsors lose their jobs would be telling on the university’s finances. With businesses folding up and many individuals losing their means of livelihood by the minute, it is apparent that the economic consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the long run would far outweigh the health implications on nations.
Wisconsin’s long standing policy of flexibility in the payment of tuition fees; a mitigating factor which unlike other universities allows students the opportunity to spread payment of fees throughout the entire semester, has become a noose around the neck of the university in thDe face of COVID-19. With greater numbers of students taking advantage of this annually, Wisconsin at the start of the semester (before the COVID-19 outbreak) saw only a fraction of students paying parts of its fees.
And with COVID-19 hitting home with its associated lockdowns leading to business closures, a lot of students came with complaints of inability to raise funds to pay their fees. With 5months of teaching into an extended semester, Wisconsin’s management was faced with the difficulty of raising IGFs to continue paying lecturers’ salary.
The announcement of the discounts and waivers have been met with mixed reception. While others thought the discount was woefully inadequate, many welcomed the university’s noble gestures alluding compared to its competitors Wisconsin International University College per capita has offered the biggest relief.
It is however instructive to note that while other universities have remained silent providing concession to its students in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many have commended the management of Wisconsin International University College for the step taken.