By Roselyn Yusuf
The news: The announcement of the increase in school fees in the University of Jos was met with strong opposition from the Student Union Government (SUG) and the student body.
According to a statement by the University of Jos (UNIJOS) Student Union Government (SUG), on Friday, July 27, the university management has decided to review and increase school charges for undergraduate students. This decision came after a parley involving the university management and students’ union leaders.
The SUG said that the university management considered certain parameters and consulted with various stakeholders before reaching this decision. The plan is to raise the school charges for all undergraduate students, regardless of their programs, to a uniform rate of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000).
However, the University Management in a statement on its official website said that the school fees has been increased to N213,000 for new students and N160,000 for returning students. Additionally, foreign and post graduate students will pay N713,000 for fresh students and N660,000 for returning students.
Why it matters: The reasons provided for this increment mainly revolve around the rising costs experienced by other universities. The current school charges were deemed inadequate to sustain the smooth running of the university, especially with the removal of subsidies, unification of the dollar rate, and alleged negligence of universities by the federal government.
The harsh economic realities facing Nigerians have made it increasingly difficult for parents and students to make ends meet. With this increase, the already struggling students will find it even more challenging to sponsor themselves through their education leaving them forced to drop out of the university, affecting their academic progress and future prospects.
Know more: The SUG, alongside the student body, expressed their disapproval towards the increase in school fees. The increment would disproportionately affect the most vulnerable students who rely heavily on scholarships, loans, and part-time jobs to finance their education.
Having raised all these concerns and more, the position of the SUG was clear; no school charges increment will be accepted.
Speaking to an undergraduate student from the mass communication department Unijos,Cecilia Okla, she said “The increment is really disturbing as it could force me to abandon my aspirations of obtaining a university degree. I understand the need for resources to maintain quality of education, but I may not be able to afford not only the increased fees but also the additional costs of transportation, accommodation, and other necessary expenses”
Other students complained about the recent increment of accomodation/hostel fees made in the previous school session with the promise that renovations were to be carried out and living conditions in the hostels raised but nothing was achieved yet school charges are about to be increased.
What now: Having considered the following deliberations,the school management however sought the understanding of the SUG as regards the proposed increment and asked that it should be reconsidered, calling a meeting to be reconvened to a later date for continued deliberations.
However, the SUG stated they will continue to stand firm in the best interest of all students as students will be kept abreast with developments unfolding.