By Ekemini Raymond
With less than 6 months to the expiration of the Prof. James Epoke administration as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, things are beginning to take a different dimension, with regards to charges paid by students to the University at different levels.
One of the promises of the new Bursar of the institution, Mr. Peter Agi on assumption of office was to stabilize and regulate the charges paid buy students in the institution, but there are some recent developments which are showing that the reverse is the case.
Our reporter gathered that, with resumption of the new academic session, the students were welcomed to the institution with a fee hike, especially for the CES students. Though, the students through the Students Union Government, SUG had appealed to the school management for the reduction of the increments, up till now, the appeal seems to be effort in futility.
It was also gathered that even the acceptance fee paid by fresher’s has also been increased from 10,000 naira to 15,000 naira, and with the Pre-degree (Remedial) students asked to pay the acceptance fee too.
Speaking on the matter, the SUG President, Mr. Ajang, Emmanuel said that he had a meeting with the management of the institution, and pleaded with them to reduce the fee increments, and they accepted to do so.
When asked why the increments were made in the first place without the knowledge of the students, he said that he is yet to know that. Some of the students, who spoke about the incident, condemned absolutely the action of the school management.
A final year student of the department of Geology, who identified himself as Udo Moses, blasted the school bursar for coming into office with a fee increment, as this was not seen when he didn’t assume office. According to him, UNICAL is the only federal institution that her final year students pay over 35,000 naira.
Odey Austine also a final year students of medical laboratory science said that he is surprised to be paying over 30,000 as school charges, when they say that tution fee is free. He called on the President and all other relevant authorities to come to their aid.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the Bursar of the institution had explained to students who went to him to seek for explanation on the increment. According to some sources who have spoken with him, the fee increment had become necessary since the University is no longer receiving federal government funding routinely, and that the dream of the institution to compete with the best in the world will not be achieved if new ways of funding are not initiated including raising the charges.
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