Since the news of the newly reviewed tuition for students of Ondo State owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) greeted the air, management and Students Union Leaders of the institution are in disagreement over the development. ADESOLA IKULAJOLU writes.
After the 2017/2018 increment in tuition fee that was welcomed with a nationwide protest by students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), the management has again announced a new review
through the edu portal.
Our correspondent gathered that students who logged in into the portal for the 2018/2019 session especially the final year and new 200Level, noticed that the payment invoice did not change despite being in a new level, which sparked reactions.
EduCeleb.com recalls that in 2018, AAUA tuition fee was increased across all faculties by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who is also the visitor to the institution.
The fees were as follows: New Students of Faculty of Arts and Education pays 100,000; 200Level and 300Level pays 80,000 while New Students from Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Agriculture, Sciences and Law pays 150,000; 200Level and 300Level pays 100,000. All final year students pays 70,000.
It is observed that the arrangement has now been changed, which is causing disagreement between the management and Students’ Union.
The union, under the leadership of Comrade Adesomoju Samuel
(Sampraise) has said that students should not rush to pay such fee until it is resolved.
In a statement he jointly signed with the General Secretary of the
Union, Adebayo Jesutola (Tolajay) and Senate President, Adebowale Temitope (Don Richy), it notified “the entire students to exercise patience as regards the payment of tuition fees for the new session.”
A copy of it made available to EduCeleb.com reads further that, “This is in connection with the recent review of fees payable by students across all faculties and academic levels as made public by the university management on our different accounts within the edu-portal.”
The union strictly ordered that no students should pay tuition fee “for now” as it would give instructions on next line of action.
“We make to say it bold that no student should pay tuition fee for now not until all issues have been resolved.
“We urge the students to await further instructions which will be relayed subsequently by the union as events unfold,”
In its own reaction, the management of Ajasin Varsity through a rejoinder by the Registrar, Dr. M. S. Ayeerun, debunked that the tuition fee was not increased. He described such as a rumour.
Dr Ayeerun said the attention of the university management was drawn to the rumour being circulated on social media that the fee was hiked but contrary to that, students were only asked to continuing paying last session’s fee.
“The University is hereby using this medium to inform our highly esteemed students, parents guardians and the entire public that the University did not increase or propose to increase its school fees.
“In other words, the school fees regime of last Academic session
(2017/2018) still subsists in 2018/2019 Academic Session. As such, students are to pay the fees they paid last Academic session for the 2018/2019 Academic Session,” the Registrar said.
He further stressed that the news of increment should be disregarded.
In another related development, while the Students’ Union asked
students not to pay tuition, the management has ordered that all
online registration, including payment of tuition fee, must be done before resumption.
In a circular, Ayeerun disclosed on behalf of the Vice Chancellor that “the resumption date for the 2018/2019 session will be announced later.”
The Registrar also stressed that all new and returning students were to commence and complete their registration online.
“Meanwhile, fresh and returning students are required to start and complete their online registration before resumption. All students are therefore advised to commence their online registration and payment of school fee,” he said.
AAUA students react
EduCeleb.com gathered from reactions trailing the new tuition payment arrangement that students still perceived it to be a hike.
Some of the students who spoke with our Correspondent said the new review is like a silent way of increasing the fee and it shouldn’t be accepted.
“The tuition fee review is really an avenue to aggravate our agony as students. Up till this moment, I haven’t summoned the courage to tell my widowed mother about the review without her contemplating my drop out. I feel the school management could have treated us better but they chose the opposite, which seems like telling us to neglect education,” a sophomore, Aluko Dorcas said.
The Director of Campus Affairs at the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr Oyedokun Isreal said the directive that students pay what they had paid the previous session was equal to fee hike.
“It is an increment. In every institution, there is scheduled fee for all levels. In AAUA, what is applicable is reduction in the tuition fee when moving from
100 level to 200 level and when at final year.
“To bring the policy of ‘pay what you paid last session’ is tampering with the tuition fee systematically.”
Another student, Jemilugba Ifeloluwa lamented that “it is an increment. When the SUG is saying ‘no increment’, the school is saying they should write a letter. Why will they write a letter if there’s no increment?
“When Governor Akeredolu was contesting, he made a promise to
the students not to increase fees and within a year in office, he did – from 35,000 to 150,000. Where do they expect our parents to see this money? I have mates that had to leave school last year because of the hike. I wonder what will happen this year. The new tuition fee is painful because we are falling victims a second time.”
On his own side, Anjorin Philip blamed the immediate past leadership of the Union under Ijanusi Olawale for accepting an increment back in 2018.
“The moment Optimum(Ex SUG President, Ijanusi Olawale) allowed it to 150,000, I knew it’s a matter of time that it might increase. The management think they will confuse us by saying we are paying what we paid last session but our portal is saying something else.
Akeju Adesegun said, “Should we say it’s an arrangement to wisely
increase it by the management because I don’t seem to know why I should be paying what I paid last year. It is a dastardly act and shouldn’t be embraced from any angle and this is the time whereby the Students’ Union executives will prove to us that they can be relied upon.”
Gbemisola Adesola said, “It saddens my heart when I heard about the new fee. Many are still struggling to pay for last session.
All I see is that they actually played on our intelligence. If they had told us it will be like this, majority of the previous freshers would not have resumed. Most of us resumed with the hope that we would pay lesser amount the following year.
“The thing is with that huge amount we paid last session, there is still no new development in the school or in Akungba itself Will this continue till when poor people will not afford to go to school?”
However, Adepoju Williams said if the new arrangement were not an increment, the fees should have been left the way it is.
“The New Fee is not an increment according to the School but
maintaining the status quo. It is actually right. But the question is, why should 200 level students pay the same tuition fee with those in 100 level?
“Why should finalists pay the same tuition fee with (those in) 300 level ? It is often believed that….the higher you go, the lower the fee. Why should it be different in AAUA?”
By implications of the new review, 200 level students of Faculty of Arts and Education will now pay 100,000 as against 80,000; those in 300 level will maintain their 80,000 also while final year students of same faculty would pay 80,000 instead of 70,000.
Students of the Faculty of Sciences, Social and Management Sciences, Law and Agriculture in 200 level will pay 150,000 instead of 100,000; 400 level (and 500L in some 5 year courses) will pay 100,000 instead of 70,000 for final year.
The fresh Students will maintain their 150,000 but would pay that amount till they graduate.
Stakeholders present at an emergency meeting summoned by the SUG last weekend resolved that the fee should keep decreasing as students
advance in level.
Ex-SUG President reacts
Ijanusi Olawale ‘Optimum’ who was the SUG President during the period the tuition fee was hiked in the 2016/2017 session has come out to deny allegations levelled against him that his administration signed a
document for the fees to be reviewed.
In a statement by his General Secretary, Mr Adekun Ayo-Lawrence, he revealed that the administration was not in favour of any increment but was coerced to agree.
Ayo-Lawrence said the administration needs to “clearly state that as part of our agitations at the inception of the hike in tuition fee, we never succumbed to any form of increment until fate had us coerced to this quagmire situation Nigerian students are finding themselves.”
He emphasised that his administration never signed any deal to increase the fee, adding that he is “surprised that OPTIMUM LED ADMINISTRATION has been branded to have signed a deal in which in 2 years time, all
students will be paying 150k or more.”
He maintained that in virtually all tertiary institutions, final year students pay less and do not level up with other levels in tuition fee.
The 2016/2017 administration, while believing that the University Community would find a lasting solution to the issue further stressed that any “attempt to dragging our names into mud will not be taking
lightly as we might be left with no option than to take legal action.”