The Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo, Professor Labode Popoola, on Monday attributed prevailing economic situations in the country and lack of funding from Osun State government as major reasons for the increase in tuition fees by the institution’s management.
But, he clarified that the new fees regime would only be applicable to new students, who have secured admission to study in the university.
Addressing a press conference on the campus of UNIOSUN, Popoola maintained that “I like to put the record straight that the review in school fees is not applicable to returning students (i.e students in 200 to 400/500 levels of study). This means that students from 200 level to 500 level will pay the old school fees till completion of their respective degree programmes in the university”.
According to the VC, “we all know the economic situation in the country as it is affecting the states and other tiers of government, including Osun State and her government, the proprietor of Osun State University. Arising from this, the government has not been able to adequately fund the university for a while. At every opportunity, the Visitor has made it clear, his fervent desire to support the institution, but that the government was incapacitated”.
Popoola continued, “in arriving at the revised fees, all sectors of the university community, as well as relevant stakeholders like the alumni association, students, the workers’ unions and parents’ forum, were carried along throughout the process. This review is based on need and also necessitated by the financial challenges being experienced by the university and the need to take an urgent step such as this to save the university from imminent shutdown”.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Government has denied the increment in tuition fee. This was shown in a press release signed by the commissioner for Information and strategy, Adelani Baderinwa which reads thus, “the State Government of Osun has called on students in the state-owned higher institutions to handle with a sense of responsibility, their reservations on what they alleged as an increase in school fees”.
Government puts it on record that it has not authorised any increment in the tuition fees in any of the state-owned tertiary institutions.
As at today, the tuition fees of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and the College of Technology, Esa-Oke remain N25, 000 while that of Osun State College of Education, Ilesa and Ila-Orangun is still N20, 000.
For new students who have just applied to the institutions, some ancillary charges for some services, some of which are optional, were introduced and do not apply at all to current students.
It is pertinent to remind the people that the Aregbesola government, at its inception and without being persuaded in 2011 reduced the tuition fees of all the state-owned tertiary institutions from N45,000 to N25,000. Since the reduction in 2011, the government has not put a penny on the tuition fees.
Government wishes to state that the management of the tertiary institutions are autonomous and they have authority to fix reasonable charges to ensure availability and maintenance of some needful resources that enhance learning.
The government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola reiterates its commitment to promoting functional and affordable education, the manifestation of which is the improvement in the standard of education in the state.
The government calls on the students to be peaceful and orderly in their protest. It is true that protest is legitimate but they should not be allowed to be hijacked by miscreants and political jobbers who are always looking for such avenue to unleash unpleasant experiences on the people. They should be informed that the rights of other people start from where their’s end”.
Source: Tribune & Nation