The University of Zambia has revealed that it will introduce three different classes of graduation gowns for undergraduate students in a bid to make the graduation outfit affordable to all students.

In an interview, UNZA public relations manager Damaseke Chibale said there had been complaints from graduating students concerning the price of the graduation gowns, hence the decision to introduce three different classes.

Chibale explained that the old gown was being produced by a South African company, hence the high cost.

“Basically the decision to introduce three different categories of gowns was arrived at after numerous complaints from our graduating students, most of whom failed to manage to purchase the graduation gown which was in the range of K2,500 to K2,700. Some of our graduating students couldn’t even manage to hire a gown. Management therefore decided to come up with this idea to help our students to afford the graduation gown,” Chibale said.

“The old graduation gown was costing that much because of the changes in the exchange rate. Previously, when the Kwacha was costing K5 or so to $1, the price of the gown was also low. But because the old gown was been imported from South Africa, the price was high due to the exchange rate. So after hearing the complaints, we decided to find a local supplier and introduce the gown in three categories.”

He explained that the three different categories of gowns would look the same, except the quality of material would differ.

“There will be no much difference in terms of the appearance of these gowns. They will all have the same features and symbols, except the difference in the quantity of material used. The high quality gown will have more cotton and other material that will be used than the other two,” explained Chibale.

And Chibale said that there will be no changes in the 2018-2019 academic calendar despite disruptions last year.