The University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, has recently announced an increase in the school fees payable by its undergraduate students. According to a statement issued by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) UNILAG branch, this decision came after a meeting between the university’s top management staff and representatives of the three non-academic staff unions on July 20, 2023, to discuss issues concerning members’ welfare.
Previously, students of the institution paid N19,000 as their school fee. However, the new fees have been fixed at N190,250 for students studying medicine, while for courses that require laboratory and studio facilities, the fees have been set at N140,250. For programs that do not require lab and studio access, students will now pay N100,750.
In response to the fee hike, a SSANU representative at the meeting, Rasaki Yusuf, requested a rebate for staff members with children attending the university. However, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, stated that the new charges were set nationally and could not be modified for specific categories of students.
Prof. Ogunsola did offer an option for staff to pay the increased fees in instalments, with the condition that the full payment must be made one month before the final exams.
Aside from the fee increase, other issues were raised during the meeting. One of the concerns was hostel accommodation for staff wards. The Vice Chancellor promised that a percentage of accommodation spaces would be reserved for staff wards, but she could not guarantee that all staff children would receive hostel placements.
Additionally, the staff unions presented a list of demands, which included matters related to overtime, shift allowance, hazard allowance implementation, staff medical screening, stagnation, the status of UNILAG International School tutors, and the case of one staff member, Dr. Arinye.
The implementation of the new undergraduate fees has stirred concerns among students and staff members alike. While the university management cites the need for national standardization, some stakeholders are apprehensive about the financial burden this may impose on students and their families.
As the situation unfolds, it remains crucial for all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue to find a balanced resolution that considers the welfare of both students and staff members at the University of Lagos.