By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The Vice- Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, southwest Nigeria, Prof. Bamitale Omole on Tuesday, 3rd June, 2014 disclosed that increment of students’ charges was to sustain the school’s position as the best in the country.
Prof. Omole who said this while addressing a press conference at the conference centre of the institution on Tuesday revealed that the charges paid then were in line with the economic realities of that time, stressing that the new fee regime was necessitated owing to the current economic realities.
The address read by the Vice Chancellor, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent revealed that newly admitted students in the Faculties of Law, Arts, Social Sciences, Administration and Education are to pay N61,700 as against N5,300 previously being paid while students in Faculties of Science, Environment Design and Management, Educational Science, Technology and Agriculture are to pay N72,700 against N10,300 obtainable before.
The address further stated that freshmen in the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Sciences are now to pay N75,700 against N12, 800 paid by the students before the upward review.
The Vice Chancellor noted that the new charges to be paid by the newly admitted students includes a newly introduced development levy of N18,000 which is to be paid once and for all by the fresh students throughout the duration of their studentship in the university.
Specifically, Prof. Omole declared that the N20,000 acceptance fee was not part of that the newly introduced fee. He contended that old charges paid by the students were not only lowest in the entire Nigerian University system but also the most ridiculous in the entire tertiary educational system in Africa.
According to Prof. Omole, the management would not reverse the fee and that, “in order to assist the poor but brilliant students, the Senate of the University has also set up a Student Education Relief Committee where schorlarships, grants, opportunities for work study will be provided.”
But the Students’ Union President of the institution, Comrade Ibikunle Isaac maintained that the management should reverse the fee saying that the “increased fee remains unpayable by poor Nigerian students and their parents.”
His words: “OAU students say NO to any form of increment in the fees. Greatest IFE our demands remain: Reversal of the hiked fee, Proper funding of education by the government Implementation of the FG/ASUU 2013 agreement and demand that OAU and other university managements should wait for this fund Implementation of 26 percent budgetary allocation to education.
“Management should join the poor mass of Nigerian students to fight against non-implementation of 26 percent budget allocation to education as directed by UNESCO, our struggle having gone this far, thus far, Great Ife students are directing our struggle to these exploitative, anti-masses ruling elite that form the management and government of the nation to demand the full exercise of our right to education.”
Ibikunle therefore warned students against paying the new fee regime with a call on them to resume school in order to further press the management in reversing the hiked fee.