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UNILAG Students Set To Protest Fee Hike

Student group Demand equity in education funding

6 mins read

By Isaac Chukwuebuka Chibuife

Students and alumni of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) are gearing up for a demonstration across all campuses of the institution in response to the recent hike in school fees by the school management.

The protest, scheduled to be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, is being organised by the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike.

The students’ solidarity group led by Mr Femi Adeyeye issued a statement over the weekend demanding an immediate reversal of the school fees hike to the status quo.

The group urged President Bola Tinubu-led federal government to prioritize proper funding of education. They emphasized the negative impact of the fee increase on students and stressed the importance of public education being adequately funded by the government.


READ ALSO: Varsity Fee Hike: More Students To Drop Out, Others Take Up Part-time Jobs For Survival
Recall that in July, UNILAG announced a significant rise in the school fees of undergraduate students of the institution, citing “prevailing economic realities” as the reason behind the decision.

READ ALSO: Tuition Fee Hike In UNILAG Raises Dust

The increase saw fees from N19,000 to N190,250 for undergraduate students studying medicine while for courses that require laboratory and studio, the students were to pay N140,250.
The group said it had discussions with the university management in an attempt to address the issue but it had no effect.
According to the students group, “It has become imperative to inform the public of mass protests against fee hike scheduled to start on September 6, 2023, as all Nigerian students, parents, civil society organisations, informal workers are set to hit the streets to say enough of untold hardship meted on us.”
The group believes that shifting the responsibility of funding public education to students and their families, particularly in a challenging economic climate, is unfair and counterproductive. They view the university management’s decision to increase the fees as authoritarian and economically insensitive.
“Our argument remains that the responsibility of funding public education cannot be shifted to poor students and their parents even in a draining economy such as this.”
“We also maintain that the decision taken by the UNILAG management, supervised by their employers, remains authoritarian, illogical and economically inconsiderate.”
“We are civil and we believe that our civility should be reciprocated with respect, especially from people saddled with the responsibility of serving the public,” part of the statement read.
The student group further noted, “The social consequences of this menace at our doorsteps can not be overemphasized. If allowed to stand, many of our colleagues will drop out, dreams will be shattered.”
“The social inequality gap will be widened by this inhumane action. Those who will manage not to drop out of school will drop out of class, i.e.- they won’t stay in class, as the fee hike will push everyone to become compulsory hustlers,” the group added.
They alleged that “lecturers will justifiably sell ‘hand-outs’ openly and bribes for grades will become the order of the day. Cases of sexual harassment for grades will also increase as students who do not stay in class will have to find unwholesome means to ‘excel’ academically.
“Our lecturers, some of whom are postgraduate students, including those who are sponsors (parents/guardians) to many students would not be able to afford these fees.
“Evidence in the past has shown that nothing progressive can come out of the fee increment. Fee hikes have been monitored over time and have been found to be anti-progressive. They won’t improve any standard of learning or living conditions.
“A very close example is the increment of accommodation fees at the College of Medicine, Idi-Araba in 2019.”
“The hostel fees were increased from N23,000 to N44,500 but there was no commensurate change in the living standard of students staying in those halls of residence. What then is the assurance that at the new fee- of N120,000, there would be any improvement?
“Education, especially in a developing country, must not be reduced to a profit-making venture for private profiteers.”
“It is to this end we call on every Nigerian to join the struggle for the survival of public education, to mobilize and march on the streets with us we put an end to added suffering, starting from September 6, 2023.”
The students declared that “The protests will be comprehensive and total until fees are reverted.”

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Isaac Chukwuebuka Chibuife
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