Whispers of N95,000 for Knowledge: UNIZIK’s Steep Fee Hike Sparks Outcry


As UNIZIK Proposes a Hefty Fee Increase, Students Question Accessibility of Education Amidst Security Concerns”

In 2024, rumors are swirling that Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) old students will face a significant increase in their tuition fees, potentially reaching a whopping N95,000. This news comes at a time when the university is reportedly benefiting from investments and government aid. Meanwhile, students are grappling with serious security concerns, raising questions about the fairness of such a steep fee hike.

The issue of tuition fees at UNIZIK isn’t new. In July 2021, students took to the streets in protest against a previous fee hike. The protest, which spanned two days, was fueled by the university’s decision to raise fees for both returning and new students. Returning students, who previously paid between N20,100 to N25,000, now face fees ranging from N55,000 to N60,000. New students, on the other hand, could see their fees skyrocket to between N97,000 to N120,000. This doesn’t include other mandatory fees, pushing the total to approximately N200,000.

The university’s initial response was to deny the fee hike, calling it false and misleading. However, this only served to further agitate the students, who felt their concerns were being dismissed. One student, who preferred to remain anonymous, highlighted the financial strain the hike had caused, citing an instance where students had to pool resources to help a peer in need.

Ogechi Faustina, an International Relations student, shared the burden her family faces with three children attending the university. She revealed that her father spends close to half a million naira on their education alone, not including other expenses like accommodation and living costs.

Kingsley, a final year student, expressed the challenges of meeting the sudden increase in fees, stating that it forced him to scramble for funds to avoid being barred from exams.

Interestingly, not all students are in agreement with the protests. Some, like Beatrice, believe that high fees are simply a reflection of the broader economic situation in Nigeria, implying that this issue extends beyond the university.

The protest gained national attention and prompted the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Okechukwu Esimone, to address the students. He requested a 24-hour grace period to address their concerns, but the students were not satisfied and continued protesting, demanding immediate action. The protest was eventually suspended with the possibility of resuming if their demands are not met.

Looking ahead, the question arises: Is education no longer accessible to the poor? The benefits of affordable education are clear. It ensures that talented individuals, regardless of their financial background, have the opportunity to pursue higher education. This not only benefits the individuals themselves but also contributes to a more educated and skilled workforce, ultimately driving economic growth and development.

As UNIZIK grapples with these challenges, the hope remains that a balance can be struck—one that ensures the university’s financial sustainability without compromising access to education for all.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe education is still accessible to all, or are rising fees creating barriers? Share your views in the comments below!

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