The charges being paid by the OAU students were not only the lowest in the entire Nigerian University system but…”
The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Bamitale Omole, on Tuesday said the increase in school charges was to provide quality and competitive education for its students.
Mr. Omole made this known at a news conference organised by the university to explain the rationale behind the hike.
He said that the increase was aimed at providing and maintaining infrastructural facilities in the institution.
The vice chancellor said the university management deemed it necessary to review charges upward so as to maintain its position as a foremost institution.
Mr. Omole, who said the university administration last reviewed the charges about 10 years ago, added:
“The charges paid then were in line with the economic realities of that time and the current economic realities have made those charges unrealistic and unsustainable.
“The charges being paid by the OAU students were not only the lowest in the entire Nigerian University system but also the most ridiculous in the entire tertiary educational system in Africa.’’
The Vice-Chancellor said charges paid per session in the last 10 years by the Faculty of Administration/Arts/ Education/Social Sciences/ Law was N5,300, adding that this had now been increased to N19,700.
He explained that Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Environmental Design and Management and Technology that paid N7, 800 would now pay N30, 700.
He said the Faculty of Medicine/ Pharmacy/Health Sciences that paid N12, 800 would now pay N33, 700 for 2013/2014 session.
The Vice Chancellor explained that accommodation per session for all students in the past was N2, 590.
He said the cost of providing education had risen worldwide, saying, online registration / verification of student data / information / certificate had been introduced to reduce waste.
He said the university needed resources to purchase chemicals, equipment, consumables, current books, periodicals, journals and internet facilities so that students would be well trained.
“OAU paid the sum of N30 million for electricity in April of which over 70 per cent of the consumption is utilised regularly by students who pay nothing among others,” he said.
Mr. Omole also stated that development levy of N18,000 is paid once by fresh students throughout the duration of their programme.
He added that the university was not insensitive to the plight of the poor in arriving at the current charges.
Mr. Omole stated that the institution had set up a Student Education Relief Committee to assist poor but brilliant students through scholarships, grants and opportunities for work study.
He solicited the understanding and support of parents, guardians and the general public in partnering with the university to provide quality education for their wards.
Students of the university have protested the increase in frees saying the almost 300 per cent increase in some cases was unfair.
The students also accused the management of introducing other sundry charges to be paid by students beyond what the university disclosed.