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NUL graduates in limbo

by Sunday Express
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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE future of scores of National University of Lesotho (NUL) graduates hangs in the balance after the university refused to issue them with transcripts of their results following their graduation in October last year because of outstanding fees payments.

The students’ fees were supposed to be paid by the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS). The affected students graduated from various faculties.

Officials at NUL could not immediately confirm how much they were owed and how many students were affected. However, the students said they were informed that they owed varying amounts in tuition and accommodation fees. They said the university was unfairly targeting them yet it was the NMDS that had responsibility to pay their fees.

One of the graduates, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were devastated because they have not been able to search for employment in the absence of their result transcripts. Others said they had plans to enrol for post-graduate studies but could not do so without the results.

“We were told by the bursar’s office at NUL that our fees were in arrears and we were advised to seek clarity from the NMDS,” the graduate said.

“In my case, I was told that NMDS owed fees for my second-year fees and they would not release my results until the fees issue has been settled. They indicated that since I had graduated, it would be difficult for them to get the money if they gave me my results. This is the first time the university is punishing students because they cannot settle the matter with NMDS who they know to be responsible.”

The graduates said their visits to NMDS to seek an explanation regarding the payment of the fees arrears have so far failed to yield any results.

“It seems there is even more confusion at NMDS because we kept being referred from one department to another without any tangible results. We do not know where else to go for help because we are not getting clarity from both the university and NMDS. We feel they are not being honest and unfair to us,” another graduate said.

Several attempts to get a comment from the offices of the bursar and student records at NUL were fruitless. The office of the bursar said information on students’ fees was a responsibility of the student records department, which shifted the responsibility back to the bursar’s office.

NMDS spokesperson, Moeketsi Rankhone said he was unable to comment on the matter as he was on leave.

“I am only able to find out what is happening when I get to the office, next Wednesday,” Mr Rankhone said.


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