UNICAL bows to pressure, suspends planned fee hike amidst students’ protest

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Calabar, Florence Obi, has directed that the new fees introduced by the institution be put on hold until further notice.

The directive was contained in a statement issued by the university’s Registrar, Gabriel Egbe, and made available to reporters on Monday.

The management of the institution had approved an adjustment in school fees after its emergency meeting on 1 December.

The students reacted to the development on Monday, when they embarked on a massive protest that brought academic and other activities in the institution to a halt.

In the statement, the vice-chancellor disclosed that the directive to put the new charges on hold was in reaction to the protest.

The statement read in part: “The management of this institution is a listening administration.

“We want to assure the students as critical stakeholders that appropriate arrangements have been put in place through constructive engagements with the students to resolve the matter.

“The management, however, commends the students for the mature, reasonable and civilised manner exhibited towards resolving the matter.

Blueprint reports that the new charges meant that freshers, returning students and final-year students for non-science courses were to pay N111,000, N91,500 and N114,000, respectively.

They were also to pay N36,500, N21,500 and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

Similarly, charges for the science courses were increased to N155,000, N125,000 and N148,000, respectively, for freshers, returning students and final-year students.

This category of students was also to pay N38,500, N21,500 and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

Before the adjustment, an average student, depending on the department, paid N64,050 as a fresher, N52,050 as a final year and N49,500 as returning students.

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