Following the University of Ibadan students’ protest against the introduction of training fee and hostel fee hike, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Idowu Olayinka has explained why medical students have to pay N100,000.
The Vice-Chancellor in a telephone interview with our reporterfriends on Friday, April 6, 2018, also explained the reasons for accommodation increment.
campus reporter: Why did the medical students have to protest about accommodation and fee hike?
VC: Accommodation fee has increased, you know only 30 percent of the students can be accommodated, the remaining 70 percent who live off campus are not accommodated because they don’t have accommodation in the university. So it is either they are staying in their parents’ residences or they rent a room or a private apartment. It is only the 30 percent who live on campus that are affected by any increment in the accommodation fee.
The reality is what they pay is not enough to maintain the halls. It is will be nice to add some beauties to the halls because the toilets are in bad shape, their hostels have bedbugs, and it does not make any sense to pack 20 students in a space meant for five.
Some of the buildings have been there for over 70 years, we just felt we need to increase the amount they pay. We are not going to make any profit from it. The money they pay is what we have been using to upgrade the facilities on a gradual basis, starting with something as elementary as fumigating the halls.
So, the money for accommodation, since the university is not fully residential, will be paid by the 30 percent who are accommodated in the halls of residence. Those who are not accommodated are not going to be affected.
Apart from this, the medical students have to do some professional courses and they also have to do fieldwork, and the university is finding it unbearable to support them. And if they don’t do these things, we will end up producing half-backed graduates. We won’t get accredited either by the NUC or by any relevant professional bodies like a Nigerian Medical and Dental Council, the Council of Engineers in Nigeria and many other professional bodies.
For instance, the Nigeria Legal Council still comes to our school to accredit our law programs. So we need to make some requirement for these bodies and it can be quite stringent. Government alone can not do everything. At least individual student benefit from the university education. So we thought we should share the responsibilities.
Although the government is doing their best because they pay our salaries and they equip our laboratories and lecture rooms, but it is still not enough. We think the direct beneficiaries, the students should also contribute.
campusthat reporter: But over 1500 students have signed a petition against the fee increment.
VC: It does not matter now, we have almost 30,000 students.
campus reporter: The medical students who have signed the petitions are rejecting the N100,000 increment in the school fees.
VC: I am sure nobody wants us to be producing doctors that will be killing their patients. All of us are in this together.
Campus reporter: What if after reporting the case to the Senate president and the FG orders the management to reduce the school fees?
VC: First, they will come and look at before they make any decision.
campus reporter: What if they choose to be on the side of the students and order that the accommodation fees and tuition fees be reduced?
VC: Well, we are under their authority, and if they say we should not increase it we can not fight the government. At least this is a public university and it is owned by the Federal Government. If they instruct us we have to comply, we have no choice in the matter.