Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
Students of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan have been ordered to vacate their hostel after they staged a protest against what they described as unfair introduction of a professional training fee by the school authorities.
The students claimed that the fee, coupled with an increase in accommodation fee, was capable of making some of them abandon their medical training.
They said the university recently introduced the professional fee ranging from N75,000 to N100,000 per student, while accommodation fee in the hostel was raised to N40,000 per student.
Our correspondent learnt from a reliable source in the school that because of reduced funding from the Federal Government, the institution’s senate had approved an increase in various fees paid by the students while new levies were introduced.
From around N14,000, students in the school will now pay between N30,000 and N40,000 as accommodation fee per bed space.
At the Alexander Brown Hall, UCH, Ibadan, medical students were seen leaving the hostel on Sunday as a result of a directive from the school that they should vacate the hostel after staging a protest against the new fees.
The letter, which was signed by the institution’s Registrar, Olujinmi Olukoya, said the Academic Board of the College of Medicine, UI considered the possible security threat that the students’ agitation against the new fees could pose and recommended the hostel closure.
The letter said that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, had approved the board recommendation and directed that the students should leave the hostel before 12 noon on Saturday.
However, a letter signed by the President, Medical Students Association in the university, Olakorede Jacob, and the General Secretary, Yahya Bashir, frowned on the letter of closure of the hostel, saying that it was not written on a letterhead of the institution or dated.
They also claimed that the letter was not signed by the new Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi.
When contacted, the Director of Public Communication, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, confirmed that the students had been ordered by a letter from the registrar to vacate the hostel pending the review of the situation.
While addressing the issue raised by the students on the signing of the letter, Oladejo said that the new registrar, Mrs. Faluyi, would assume office on Monday (today).
Some of the students, who spoke with our correspondent, wondered why the medical students were singled out for the new fee, arguing that such professional training fee was not introduced to students going through professional training in other fields.
One of the students who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the fear of persecution said, “The professional training levy has no justification in any way. It is illegal and it contradicts the Federal Government’s policy which sets a N45,000 ceiling for all federal universities. The school did not consult us or give us reason for the new fees, this is against Section 7 of the University of Ibadan Act of 2003.
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