Kwara State University students agitated over proposed tuition fee hike
By Abiodun JAMIU
THERE is a growing fear among students of Kwara State University over a reported plan by the university management to increase their school fees ahead of the 2019/2020 academic year.
The students on social media expressed their grievances, arguing that an increment in the tuition fees, especially in the wake of the economic crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic would make it hard for many of them to afford the proposed tuition fees.
THE ICIR gathered that the new development was disclosed to students’ leaders in a closed-door meeting with the management of the university where it was stated that the new fees would be used to pay for various courses in the university.
It was also gathered that the review was necessitated by the financial crisis affecting the institution which led to its inability to pay lecturers’ salaries.
The charges termed ‘Programme Needs Fee’ ranges from N25,000 to N50,000 based on the course studied by a student, with new students paying 75 per cent of the fee while returning students will pay 25 per cent.
The current tuition fees charged by the institution range from N109,500 to N210,000 for indigene and non-indigene students respectively.
But the university management in a response signed by Muhammad Shuaib, the Acting Registrar, denied any plan by the university to increase tuition fees.
He described the news of the proposed fees on social media as rumour. The statement, however, stated that the management is in a “robust discussion” with students’ leaders to improve the financial status of the university.
“The Management of the Kwara State University, Malete wishes to inform the public that there is no iota of truth in the rumour making round that the management has increased KWASU Students’ school fees,” Shuaib said in the statement obtained by The ICIR.
“We, however, wish to state that there is an ongoing robust discussion between management and the students’ union leaders on ways to improve on the financial standing of the university towards the provision of standard teaching and learning regime.
In line with our desire to entrench a culture of participatory governance in the administration of the university, management has ensured that the conversation has been democratic, peaceful and harmonious. It is important to state that no concrete decision has been taken for now. We, therefore, urged the general public to disregard this fake rumour,” the statement cautioned.
Meanwhile, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor of Kwara State has said that the State Government would not entertain any increment from the university management as such fee review would impose more hardship on the students and their parents.
“The attitude of the government is that any upward review in tuition fees at this time of global pandemic and slow economic recovery would impose more hardship on the people, and should therefore not be on the table at this time.”