LPI exam prices may triple in SA

Posted by salparadise on May 5, 2006 4:47 PM EDT
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The Linux Professional Institute's recent decision to globally hike exam prices means SA geeks are running out of time to get certified cheaply. By next year, South Africans could be paying in excess of R900 per exam, about triple the current price.

Earlier this year, the LPI announced a price hike that established a global "benchmark'' exam price of 150 US dollars (R900) per exam. In its press release, the Institute said it would keep with its tradition of "local and regional responsiveness" with regards to pricing, raising hopes that South Africans could benefit from subsidised rates.

But the word from the Shuttleworth Foundation, which administers the exam locally, is not promising. Project manager, Karien Bezuidenhout, says the Canadian-based LPI is at present "quite adamant" that prices will increase in South Africa towards the beginning of next year in line with its "standard global pricing policy".

"They are trying to establish a more professional business model, with which comes, of course, professional pricing," says Bezuidenhout.

So could South Africans be forking out $150 US per exam in the near future? "That is what they are suggesting," says Bezuidenhout. "Our opinion is that it won't work and that you really do have to take regional pricing into consideration.

"We are hoping they will reconsider towards the end of the year," she adds.

Meanwhile, the Shuttleworth Foundation has negotiated with the LPI to continue offering exams at R300 "at least towards the end of the year", says Bezuidenhout, "but after that, the price will definitely increase quite substantially."

The Geek Freedom League (GFL) told Tectonic this week it was "fighting to keep it on the old price" for Freedom League members during its winter LPI certification drive. (Their negotiations paid off: Freedom League members will pay a specially-subsidised R275 per exam. See related article.)

Bezuidenhout recommends that potential examinees get certification as soon as possible to avoid the potential price increase.

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