The condemnation follows the new tuition fee regime announced by the management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) at the weekend.
The university announced the new tuition fees for undergraduate students in the university through an information posted on its student portal on July 21.
The announcement of the new tuition fees comes amid the dire economic situation in Nigeria.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, dated July 20, 2023, confirmed the institution’s decision following a meeting with top management staff of the UNILAG branch.
Students of the institution previously paid N19,000 but the management has set a new fee of N190,250 for medical students while students for courses requiring laboratory and studio will have to pay N140,250.
The situation leaves students and their families struggling with the daunting reality of higher education costs.
Some federal universities in the country have followed similar hikes in recent weeks since President Bola Tinubu took office on May 29 and introduced sweeping reforms to the economy, including tuition fee hikes by UNILAG, the end of petrol subsidy and the floatation of the naira.
Tinubu’s economic reforms have increased the prices of essential commodities, food, petrol, among others, which now sells for over N600 per liter depending on which part of the country it is sold in.
According to the latest data from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBC), inflation and unemployment are at an all-time high.
A few weeks ago, when a similar tuition fee hike was announced at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), BusinessDay checks showed that the institution’s Students’ Union Government (SUG) protested the hike, bringing it down to N33k from the previous amount of N84k.
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There are concerns among Nigerians and some stakeholders that the new wave of hikes will lead to a new rate of tuition fees dropping out of school for students from humble homes.
Before the increase, many students did not even meet the N16,000 and N19,000 payment until the examination period due to the harsh economy and high poverty among Nigerians.
Some students who could find time and work had to work, engaged in business, while others often engaged in unpleasant jobs to raise their tuition fees.
As news of the fee hike was announced to students in the institute, students from all walks of life have reacted with displeasure to what some have termed as extreme.
This decision by the management of Unilac has created apprehension among students and parents.
Many students say the new tuition fee is unfair and unrealistic, saying that they cannot afford to pay such amount in the tough economic climate.
The question now is what happens to such students.
Many students say there is little hope for now because the new student loan policy signed into law by President Tinubu is not attainable and attainable due to hurdles attached to getting the loan.
Although some students expected the tuition fee to rise to a certain extent, they did not think it would be high enough considering the high cost of living.
They thought the increase would be at a rate they could manage, but the new fees appear to be a huge hurdle that could hamper their dreams of pursuing higher education.
University officials argued that the hike was necessary as the prices of all commodities have risen astronomically due to the current uncertainty and economic challenges. They said that if infrastructural facilities and quality education were to be provided, tuition fees should be increased.
Across social media, Tinubu’s administration and corporate governance have been heavily criticized for the decision.
Also, many Nigerians have expressed concern over the impact of the decision on the education and future aspirations of students who cannot afford the new tuition fees at UNILAG and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.