Twenty-one students have secured scholarships from the Confucius Institute and Hunan Association as part of the tuition fundraising campaign at Makerere University.
The recipients of these scholarships are predominantly students pursuing a Bachelor of Chinese and Asian Studies.
They become the immediate beneficiaries of the recently launched campaign by Makerere University Guild President, Robert Maseruka dubbed “Save a Makererean” aimed at raising Shillings 1 billion to help their underprivileged colleagues on the verge of dropping out of the University due to lack of tuition fees.
According to a letter seen by URN from the Confucius Institute at Makerere University addressed to the Guild President, Robert Maseruka, both the Confucius Institute and Hunan Association awarded scholarships to 21 students worth 10,000 USD.
“These are intended to support the needy but academically talented students pursuing the Bachelor of Chinese and Asian studies. I appreciate you for picking interest in the plight of such students to ensure that none of them misses examinations.” reads part of the letter.
In October while launching the fundraising campaign Maseruka said about one thousand students drop out of the institution each academic year due to tuition fees challenges. He further disclosed that in the previous semester, he received reports that nearly 3,000 students missed exams.
Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe in April this year told parliament’s Education Committee that the university loses a minimum of 1,000 students each academic year due to their inability to meet tuition expenses.
Tuition fees at Makerere University vary depending on the academic program The fees range from Shillings 900,000 to 2.5 million with the exclusion of the functional fees, which amount to over Shillings 600,000.
Maseruka told URN that while they have not been able to receive cash from companies and individuals, he is happy that companies have started providing scholarships for students.
Last month, the students organized a car wash event at Makerere University’s Main Mosque, targeting Muslim alumni, lecturers, students, and visitors as part of their year-long fundraising initiative.
Despite setting a price of 30,000 shillings per car wash, they received varying amounts of money from donors. Maseruka, in an interview with URN that “We did not refuse money; the least we received was 10,000 shillings, and the largest was 50,000 shillings. Here, we washed sixteen cars and received more than 300,000 shillings.”