THE University of Lagos (UNILAG) management has explained its decision to hike tuition fees for new and returning undergraduate students.
A statement the management ssued via the institution’s website on Friday, attributed the development to what it described as the “prevailing economic realities, and needs” to meet its obligations to students and staff.
The statement noted that the adjustment in fess would take effect from the first semester of the 2023/2024 academic session.
Part of the statement read: “After careful deliberations with its stakeholders (students, parents/guardians, staff unions, alumni among others), the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Management has reviewed the obligatory fees (mandatory charges for an academic session/year) of new and returning undergraduate students of the University.
“The adjustment in fees, which will take effect from the 1st Semester, 2023/2024 Academic Session, is in view of the prevailing economic realities and the need for the University to be able to meet its obligations to its students, staff, and municipal service providers, among others.
“It is also pertinent to note that the University has not increased its obligatory fees in recent years. Management, therefore, seeks the kind understanding and support of students and other stakeholders with the assurance of its commitment towards ensuring that students get the best learning experience.”
The breakdown of the adjusted obligatory fees shows that fresh students who study courses without the use of laboratories and studios are expected to pay N126,325, while students whose courses require the use of laboratories or studios will pay N176,325.
The new students are also expected to pay N10,000 and N20,000 for the toxicology test for screening and utility charges, respectively.
Fees for returning students range from N100,750 to N140,250, depending on whether the course requires the use of a laboratory and studio. The returning students are also expected to pay N20,000 as utility fee, while every final year student is expected to pay N30,000 as convocation fee.
Total fee returning students (who are not in the final year) studying laboratory and studio-required courses will pay is N120,750, while final year students of that category are expected to pay N150,750.
For students (not in final year) who study courses that require laboratory use, the total fee they will be paying is N160,250, while final year students in that category will pay N190,250.
Also, the payable fee for returning medical students falls within the range of N210,250 to N240,250. This fee covers the N20,000 utility fee and the N30,000 charge for convocation ceremonies.
We can’t live on philanthropism – Unilag VC
The Unilag Vice-Chancellor, Folasade Ogunsola, said in an interview with the Premium Times that the university had been recording deficits of about N1 billion annually for the past three years.
Ogunsola said, “The truth is that the charges had been going up for quite some time but we kept managing in spite of the inflation. And, honestly, in the last three years or thereabouts, we have been having deficits of about N1 billion annually. We have been cutting down our costs to give quality education. But we can’t live on philanthropism.
“Our expenditure has continued to outstrip our income. Our roles as lecturers shouldn’t be to be going around on how to make money. We are supposed to be thinking, doing research, and engaging in serious community services. We are losing lecturers per second because the university system does not work.”
She explained that the process of introducing new fees was prior to the subsidy removal, as the university had commenced engagement with relevant stakeholders, including students and parents, since January.
On May 1, 2023, The ICIR had reported how the University of Abuja had increased its tuition fee.
According to the report, the returning students in the Arts and related faculties in the university would pay N82,000, while their medical counterparts pay N225,000.
The fees differed from the acceptance fee of N30,000 and other departmental and Students’ Union Government (SUG) fees.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, had warned the students to resist the urge to disrupt the peace in the school because of the hike.
He said any student caught engaging in violent activities on campus would face the penalty, including expulsion.
He warned, “The repercussion is swift and merciless. If anyone is caught anywhere destroying anything or simply disturbing the peace of our campus, I promise you I will descend heavily on such a person by showing him or her a way out.”
About three weeks later, Cyprian Igwe, an undergraduate student of the Sociology department at the University of Abuja, was rusticated from the institution allegedly for urging colleagues to dialogue on the school’s hike of its fees.
Igwe and Oladeru Samson Olamilekan, the Students’ Union’s director of Sports, were “banned from all the university campuses pending the determination of the case” for allegedly calling for a protest.