IN spite of the protest by medical students of the University of Ibadan (UI) over the hike in the fee of the institution, the management has vowed not to reduce hike in its fees even amid protest by medical students of the institution.
The university’s Senate had, on April 4, approved increase of fees for hostel accommodation, practicals and field work for appropriate faculties.
The decision did not go well with the students, especially those at the College of Medicine, who, on Monday, led a protest for the school to withdraw its decision.
The protesters described the increase as astronomical and lamented that the amount paid by both pre-clinical and clinical students would adversely affect their programme.
In his reaction, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, blamed the increase on the amount of rot that has to be fixed in the hostels.
“As we speak, we have 8,222 bed-spaces and the student population is about 27,000. So, we can only accommodate about 30 percent of the students. We have even exceeded the carrying capacity of those students. A room originally designed for two students, now has five of them,” he said.
Olayinka added that all the faculties involved in the increase had sensitised the students before the decision was announced.
He said the school management did not increase accommodation fees in the last 11 years.
“The facilities are overstretched and we felt the condition under which the students live required a lot of improvement. For a very long time, students were paying N90 per bed-space. That continued in the 70’s till 2001 when the university decided to increase the cost of bed-space from N90 to N3, 500. In 2005, we increased from N3,500 to N10, 000. In 2007, we increased again from N10,000 to N14,000.
“This is what we have been operating with. For the past 11 years, we have not tampered with the cost of bed-space in any of our undergraduates’ halls of residence,” he added.
Meanwhile, majority of parents, at a stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday, to discuss the new fees regime rejected the N30,000 hostel accommodation proposal.
It was gathered that the university management had convened the meeting over what it called ‘slight increment’ for halls of residence and the Alexander Hall for students of the College of Medicine.
The institution’s Senate had recommended a hike in hostel accommodation fee from N14,000 to N30,000 for students on the main campus and N40,000 for those in the College of Medicine effective from the 2017/2018 session.
The premier institution said it currently spends about N100 million every year in providing hostel accommodation, arguing that it was no longer sustainable
Majority of the parents, however, said while they were not objecting to increment due to the current economic realities, the proposal by the institution was unacceptable.
Mr. Fashina Olusegun, a parent, said while upgrading facilities as being canvassed by the institution was good, the new fee regime was high.
Also speaking, Merssers Robert Obiora, Ayo Akinyemi and Michael Odunrounmbi, agreed that while tertiary education was being underfunded, the university management must ensure its fees were affordable.