OAU PG Students protest alleged exploitation by school management

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Postgraduate students at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, have on Wednesday protested what they termed ‘exploitation’ by the university’s authorities. They took their protests to doorsteps of the university’s Senate Building and the Postgraduate College among other sections of the university.

EduCeleb.com gathered that a major motive behind the protest was that students who had hitherto completed their minimum four semester programme were being delayed and made to pay additional school fees despite not having any outstanding courses left.

One of the protesters who simply gave his name as Sayo informed EduCeleb.com that the protest indicated that students could no longer bear the frustrating delay of their lives. Sayo, who is a PhD student, said he had equally had his undergraduate and Master’s Degree in the university.

He recalled that he did not face such a challenge while his Masters programme lasted. He flayed the incumbent Provost of the OAU Postgraduate College for changing things since he got into office.

The protest is a fall out of a break down of negotiations with the management on the matter on Tuesday. The meeting which had in attendance 13 of the students affected and representatives of the university management headed by the Provost of the OAU PG College,  Professor S.I. Oladeji and the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Professor I. O. Aransi.The affected students allege that the Provost was “adamant” and “literally walked out on them”.

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In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the OAU, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, the students said they were suffering from the university’s administrative laxity.

 A copy of the letter obtained by our correspondent read in part, “Having weighed  the  increased  fees  that  make  OAU an  institution  that  charges  the  most  for  postgraduate  programme, we  consider  the  school’s  policy  of  continuous  payment  of fees  after  final   defence  exploitative.

“We  demand that the  institution  issues  a  directive  that allows  students  to  pay,  not  further  than  the  semester  of  final  oral  defence.”

The Public Relations Officer of the OAU, Abiodun Olarewaju, said the university was not at fault.

He said, “The submission of theses is not the same as finishing your programme. The input of external examiner, consideration by the postgraduate board and ratification are equally  important.

“After the oral defence, the students travelled and forgot that submission is not the same as completion.”

Meanwhile the University’s Dean of Students’ Affairs, Professor Aransi promised the protesting students that his office would ensure that the management reconsider the matter. He assured them of his commitment to protecting their interests.

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