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UNICAL students protest 100% tuition hike

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Academic activities at the University of Calabar came to a standstill on Monday as students staged a protest against a 100% hike in tuition fees for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 academic sessions.

The university had recently released a revised fee schedule, prompting the students to express their dissatisfaction through a peaceful protest.

They barricaded roads leading to the campus, disrupting normal activities and causing significant traffic congestion.

Displaying placards with various inscriptions, the protesters, numbering over 100, voiced their concerns.

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Some of the messages on the placards included, “We came to school to study, not to kill our parents” and “The Vice Chancellor of UniCal went to school in her days, free of charge, but today wants to kill students with crazy charges.”

Tony Erei, one of the protesters, emphasized their determination to continue the protest until the university management reverted to the previous fee structure.

He stated, “Increasing charges now is uncalled for because students and parents are still struggling to pay the last increment that was done sometime ago by the same university management.”

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Another student, Amarachi Obialor, criticized what she called “sheer wickedness and insensitivity by our leaders” in the face of economic challenges faced by Nigerians.

To ensure order, some police personnel were present during the protest.

The new fee structure involves fresh students, returning students, and final-year students for non-science courses paying N111,000, N91,500, and N114,000, respectively. Third-party dues of N36,500, N21,500, and N21,500 are also applicable.

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For science-based courses, fees were increased to N155,000, N125,000, and N148,000 for freshers, returning students, and final-year students, respectively. Third-party dues of N38,500, N21,500, and N21,500 are likewise imposed.

Before the increment, an average student, depending on the department, paid N64,050 for freshers, N52,050 for the final year, and N49,500 for returning students.

NAN

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