U.I Students Lament 450–750% Fee Hike

Fresh students at the University of Ibadan have kicked against a recent school fee hike.

Seun (not real name), one of the affected students, told FIJ the development threatened his chances of getting a university education.

“I believe that the proposed incremease in school fees is unjust and can hinder the educational pursuits of many deserving students,” said Seun.

FIJ learned that fresh students joining the school’s 2023/2024 academic session are to pay between N203,000 and N412,000. According to the university’s student union, this increment represents about 450–750 percent of the previous fees.

When the University of Ibadan released its admission list for the 2023/2024 academic session some months ago, Seun’s joy knew no bounds. He was excited to have been offered provisional admission to study chemistry at Nigeria’s premier university.

However, he logged in to his student portal and was welcomed by a surprise on Wednesday. The fresh student, who had thought he would pay a little over N100,000 in his first year, discovered he would pay N278,500.

The joy he felt when he learned he had gained admission started waning. Seun comes from a family of five. His mother is a small-scale trader, while his father works as a tricycle rider.

“Not coming from a rich home is a big problem. The country’s economy is not smiling at us, and my parents cannot afford to pay such an amount with the little money they see,” Seun told FIJ.

“If the university management does not reduce the fee, I don’t think I can attend school this year or in the next two years. I may have to say goodbye to education.”

‘MY PARENTS STILL THINK IT IS A JOKE’
Ruth (not real name), another fresh student unhappy about the increment, told FIJ that her parents thought the university management was joking when they heard the news.

“Everyone is shocked and disturbed by the increment. My parents still think they are joking. They don’t believe it yet and have been complaining about it. The increase is too much,” said Ruth.

“The school should pity our parents who are struggling. Some students are the ones sponsoring themselves. Where does UI expect them to get that amount of money?

“UI is not a private or state university. It is a federal university, so school fees should be affordable. Even if there is a hike, it should not be this much. I request that UI consider us and our parents and reduce the school fees.”

Ruth is optimistic that her parents can afford her school fees. “We will surely be able to afford it by God’s grace,” she told FIJ.

Some returning students are nursing the fear that the management would also increase their school fees.

“It is possible that they also increase the school fees for returning students. Talks about an increment have been on for a while,” a student of UI who pleaded anonymity told FIJ.

STUDENTS’ UNION REACTS

The university’s student union condemned the increment in a press release obtained by FIJ, signed by Samson Tobiloba, the president of the university’s student union, and Olaniyi Sodeeq Dolapo, the union’s general secretary.

“We note with concerns that this increment represents about 450-750% of the previous bundle fee, ranging from N20,000 to 30,000. This is coming at a period when several students are finding it hard to cope with the current fee regime and the increased cost of living in the country,” part of the statement reads.

“The union condemns this increment in strong terms and requests that this proposed increment be reverted to the status quo.

“We are equally requesting a meeting with the university management to resolve this issue.”

When FIJ called Tobiloba on Sunday, he said that the meeting was yet to be held.

“We are still in the process, and the meeting has not been held. We are hoping that it will be held on Monday,” said Tobiloba.

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