The National University of Samoa’s course fees and payment schedule has come under criticism for being too high and unreasonable.
A parent and students have described the fees and the payment schedule as “unreasonable” for families, who cannot afford the tuition fees or have more than one child in the university’s various study programs.
A mother of two NUS students, who did not want to be identified, spoke of her struggles as a single parent simultaneously supporting two children.
“It was the greatest news for me when I found out that my youngest son made it to UPY (University Preparatory Year) this year. My daughter graduated Foundation last year.”
“Talking from a single mother’s perspective, the time given to us to pay for school fee is just so unreasonable. Just last month they had the enrollment and it cost me $644 to pay for both my children,” she said, in an interview.
The university has given parents and guardians a March 15 deadline to pay the tuition fee, which the single mother described as a “greater disappointment”.
She appealed to the NUS administration to reconsider their deadline for the tuition fee payment.
Foundation Year students Julie Atopa’u and Tafuaina Maligi echoed similar sentiments when questioned by the Samoa Observer.
They said not all families come from privileged backgrounds and will be without financial challenges.
“The deadline for school fee is just around the corner, and it’s putting a lot of pressure on most families, especially that our fee cost more than a $1000."
“Late last month we paid an amount of $322 for registration fee. After that we had to pay for all our stationery and our course reader for all five courses. Now mind you, five course readers altogether cost about $80 to $90 and that is just too much,” they added.
The two students said their parents have a month to pay the fees, which will be difficult as they (parents) are paid on a fortnightly basis.
“How can this people (Government) promote education when it is so expensive to finish school?”
Comment is being sought from the NUS Office of the Vice Chancellor.