Students at the University of Jos in Plateau State have taken to the streets to protest a steep rise in tuition fees. Images from the protest show students holding banners that convey messages asserting their right to affordable education and calling for a reduction in fees.
The demonstration comes on the heels of the University’s announcement that tuition would soar from N45,000 to N213,000, representing an increase of more than 300%. According to the new fee structure released by the University’s Registrar, first and second-year students are required to pay the higher amount, while those in their third year and above will pay N160,000.
This is not the first time the University has hiked its fees. In 2017, fees were raised from N27,000 to N45,000. At that time, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sabastian Maimako, justified the increase, citing declining budgetary allocations and the need to update materials. Maimako also claimed that the decision was supported by parents, alumni, and other stakeholders after discussions were held in Jos.
It remains unclear whether the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tanko Ishaya, engaged in similar consultations before implementing this significant fee hike.
This move by the University of Jos follows a similar recent increase in fees by the University of Lagos, triggering widespread criticism. The Take-It-Back movement criticised the government’s broader trend of increasing educational costs, describing it as a strategy to make higher education unaffordable for the economically disadvantaged. The group highlighted that these increases are particularly concerning given that a large proportion of Nigerians are grappling with severe poverty, exacerbated by rising fuel and electricity prices.
The Take-It-Back movement expressed solidarity with students and their families, who are likely to suffer from this intensification of financial pressures on public education.
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