Concerns as varsities justify tuition hike, reduce workers children’s fees

FB IMG 1627659386005

More federal universities across the country have announced over 200 per cent hike in registration and tuition fees for students, analysis by our correspondent has revealed.

The fee hike announcement came shortly after the suspension of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and calls by lecturers and other stakeholders for better funding of the tertiary education system in Nigeria.

ASUU had announced the commencement of a strike in February. The strike, which ended in October, was one of the longest in the history of ASUU strikes since 1999.

Some of the issues raised by the union bordered on the release of revitalisation funds for universities, and increment in the salaries and allowances to university lecturers.

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and its sister group, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions, also embarked on strike on issues bordering university funding and staff welfare.

The regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, while unveiling its scorecard noted that it had disbursed over N1tn to the tertiary education sector and that “it had no more money” to meet the demands of the union.

During the strike, a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had in an interview with our correspondent talked about the plan for sustainable funding of the universities, including fee hike, but ASUU kicked against the proposal.

The first time ASUU kicked against the proposal of tuition hike was during the negotiation for the 2018 strike when the chief negotiator, who represented the Federal Government, Wale Babalakin, was said to have proposed that school fees be increased to ensure sustainability in the university system, but ASUU had called for the removal of Babalakin from the negotiation panel.

Universities hike tuition

More federal universities have announced hikes in tuition fees leading to an outrage among parents and students alike.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that some universities announced over 200 per cent hike and also proposed the idea of instalment payment so as not to strain parents who might be finding it tough paying at once.

For instance, the Federal University, Dutse, has announced a 200 per cent increase in tuition fees, but also disclosed discounts for the children of its workers .

The institution announced a hike of 200 per cent in a memo. The memo also stated that there would be a discount for children of the university’s lecturers and workers.

The memo, which was signed by the Deputy Registrar (Academics), Kamal Muhammed, on behalf of the vice-chancellor of the institution, was issued on December 12, 2022.

The memo read in part, “This is to inform you that the Senate at its 57th (extraordinary) meeting held on Thursday, 10th of November, 2022 considered and approved the following: 200 per cent increment in schedule of fees and components for undergraduate students  for the 2022/2023 academic session and other charges.

“Payment of fee in two (2) instalments of 60 per cent and 40 per cent per semester, respectively. Only one payment for hostel maintenance fee. Recommended discount payment of fees for members of staff to be decided after consultation at the general congress. Approved discount payment for spill over students to be decided by the management.”

UNIMAID hikes fees

In another memo made available to our correspondent by a member of ASUU at the University of Maiduguri, the management of the institution explained that it hiked associated fees due to rising inflation in the country.

The memo, which was titled, ‘Upward review of registration fees and charges’, was released by the office of the registrar of the institution.

The memo, which also gave a breakdown of the new payments to be made, read in part, “Following the rising costs of teaching and learning materials as well as laboratory consumables and reagents brought about by market forces, the university Governing Council had at its 157th meeting held on Thursday, 1st of December, 2022 approved the review of registration charges for both postgraduate and undergraduate programmes of the university as follows: New students Medicine – N252,500; new students Medical Laboratory and Nursing – N136,500; new students Anatomy- N162,500; new students Physiotherapy – N131,500; and new students Radiography – N133,500.”

Further analysis of the new fees released by the school also revealed that old students in the Faculty of Basic and Medical Sciences would pay between N112,000 and N258,000.

The university also noted that foreign students would pay additional $1,500 as fees.

 FULafia N150,000 registration

At the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, findings by our correspondent revealed that the university had increased registration fees by students to as high as N150,000 for some programmes.

This was disclosed in a schedule of payment obtained by our correspondent.

According to the schedule, students in Medicine will pay N150,000 as departmental registration fees; students in Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences and Radiography are to pay N100,000, while students in Anatomy and Physiology will pay N50,000.

According to the memo, the registration fee is exclusive of the tuition fees to be paid by the students.

The university, however, warned that students were not to be charged more than the approved fees.

UniUyo fixes fees

Data from the website of the University of Uyo, a prominent federal university located in Akwa Ibom State, revealed that both new and returning students would pay over N100,000 as against the N50,000 currently paid by students in the institution.

In the newly approved payment schedule obtained y our correspondent, it was highlighted that new Medical students would pay N105,750, while returning Medical students would pay N107,750.

In the faculty of Education, the institution noted that new and old students would pay N75,750 and N77,750, respectively.

Returning students in the Faculty of Social Sciences will pay N107,750, while new students will pay N105,750.

 MOUA give reasons

At the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, the institution noted that it revised the charges payable by students due to the escalating cost of providing services.

The increment was announced in a circular issued on December 20, 2022, which was addressed to all students of the institution.

The circular titled, ‘MOUAU/REG/103/Vol.1’ read in part, “Due to the escalating costs of providing services to students in the university, the management has revised the charges payable by students as follows;

“College of Veterinary Medicine, N109,000; CAFST/CEET, N99,000; COLPAS/COLNAS/COED, N86,000; COLMAS/CASAP/CCSS/CAERSE/CNREM, N84,000; HUD final year, N99,000.”

The circular also noted that new students were to pay N60,000 as development levy and N105,000 for other costs, while foreign students were to pay $5,000.

The school, however, noted that the increment was done in consideration of the situation of the country.

The circular added, “It is pertinent to point out that the schedule of charges released was considerate enough in view of the general condition of things in the country.

“However, after consultation with the Student Union Government executive, the charges were scaled down as published herein. The university management wishes our returning and fresh students a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

Unilorin SUG appeals

At the University of Ilorin, the management is currently considering a hike in fees. Though the new charges have not been made public, the Student Union Government of the institution, in a statement made available to our correspondent, appealed for calm.

The statement, which was signed by the union’s President, Oluwatobi Faji, read in part, “We’re not unaware of the uproar, complaints and tension generated due to the recent increment of charges by the university management. Being a responsive union that we are, we have made sure to drive home your grievances, displeasures and articulations with regards to the increment.”

NANS forms committee

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has formed a committee over the recent hike in fees by universities. This was made known in an interview with our correspondent by the South-West coordinator of the association, Emmanuel Olatunji.

According to Olatunji, the association has also written to negotiate with the management of the various universities over the recent hike.

Punch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *