Authorities of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma have increased school fees for new students for the 2015/2016 academic year by over 100 per cent with fresh students of the College of Medicine required to pay N161,500.
This development, Daily Sun gathered, is generating concern among parents, students and even AAU staff whose wards are among the new students.
Besides the increase in the school fees, the new students, especially Medical students, are expected to pay an Acceptance Fee of N75,000, while other course would attract N60,000.
A breakdown of the new fee structure revealed that students admitted to Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Fine and Applied Arts are to pay N97,750 (old students N34,500); students of Economics, Public Administration, Business Administration and Banking & Finance are being charged N111,500 (old students N40,000).
Students admitted into Natural Science, Agriculture and Education Physiology are to pay N113,500; new students for Engineering, Natural Sciences, Architecture and Building are charged N124,000, and for College of Medicine which has the highest fee, fresh students would pay N161,000 (old students N47,000) as well as N75,000 as Acceptance Fee.
Others are: Medical Laboratory Sciences, Anatomy, Nursing, Law and Accounting to pay 129,000 (old students: N47, 000); new students of the Institute of Education are now to pay N111,500 (old students N40, 000).
Following protests by the AAU Students’ Union and concerned parents, the university management agreed that new students should pay the new fees in two instalments.
“All fresh students of AAU and their parents/guardians are hereby informed that the university management has graciously approved that the school fees for the 2015/2016 academic session can be paid in two installments,” read the statement by Chris Adamaigbo, Deputy Registrar, Information/Public Relations Officers.
It warned: “All fresh students are to note that the deadline for the payment of the first instalment of the school fees is 20th January, 2016. The university management expects all fresh students, their parents/guardians to take advantage of this opportunity by promptly paying the first instalment of their school fees for the 2015/2016 academic session on or before the deadline of 20th January, 2016.”
Parents and the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) kicked against the hike and called on Governor Adams Oshiomhole to order its reversal.
ERC in a statement made available to newsmen and signed by the National Coordinator and Secretary, Hassan Taiwo and Ogundele Michael respectively, described the fee hike as “anti-poor” and demanded its immediate and unconditional reversal.
“Coming from a state governed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) which promises Change, this attempt to price education out of the reach of children of the poor is unacceptable. The ERC demands immediate and unconditional reversal of the hiked fees. We also call for improved funding and democratic management of the institution.”
A parent, Mr. Roland Osaro, whose ward was offered admission to read Law appealed to Governor Oshiomhole to reverse the increment noting that with his meagre salary, he could not afford to pay the N129,000 and N50,000 Acceptance Fee.
At the same time, Students’ Union President Khalifa Oshomole told our Correspondent on phone from AAU the union is concerned with the fee hike and has appealed to the state government and university management for a reduction.