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UNICAL students protest 100% increase in tuition fees

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UNICAL students protest 100% increase in tuition fees

Academic activities were on Monday at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) following the students’ protest against the 100 percent hike in tuition fees.

Chronicle NG earlier reported the university had released a new schedule of fees that would take effect in the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 academic sessions.

The hiked fees was contained in a statement released on Monday by UNICAL’s spokesman, Effiong Eyo, who stated the decision to raise the tuition was made at an emergency meeting of the university’s Senate on Friday.

The students, who protested peacefully to register their dissatisfaction, barricaded the roads leading into UNICAL campus, thus preventing workers from coming in.

The protest also caused heavy traffic jams, compelling some motorists to make a U-turn. The protesters, who were no fewer than 100, blocked the Mary Slessor and Etta Agbor roads.

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Many clutched fresh leaves, while others displayed placards with different inscriptions.

UNICAL students protesting against the 100 per cent hike in tuition fees by the management. (Credit: NAN)

Some inscriptions read, “We came to school to study, not to kill our parents’’ and “The vice-chancellor of UNICAL went to school in her days, free of charge, but today wants to kill students with crazy charges,” amongst others.

A protester, Tony Erei, said they would continue the protest until the institution reverted to the status quo.

Mr Erei said, “Increasing charges now is uncalled for because students and parents are still struggling to pay the last increment that was done some time ago by the same university management.”

Another student, Amarachi Obialor, described the situation in the country as “sheer wickedness and insensitivity by our leaders”.

A large number of police officers were stationed near the demonstrators to guarantee that there was no breakdown in law and order on campus.

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Fresh, returning, and final-year students for non-science courses are projected to pay N111,000, N91,500, and N114,000, respectively, under the revised price structure.

They must also pay third-party fees of N36,500, N21,500, and N21,500.

Similarly, the fees for science-based degrees have been raised to N155,000, N125,000, and N148,000 for freshers, returning students, and final-year students, respectively. They must also pay third-party fees of N38,500, N21,500, and N21,500.

Prior to the increase, an average student paid N64,050 for freshmen, N52,050 for seniors, and N49,500 for returning students, depending on the department.

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