Students from the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have launched street protests against a substantial tuition fee increase exceeding 100%. The university’s management approved the fee hike during a weekend meeting, triggering outrage among the student body.
The decision to raise tuition fees was disclosed in a statement from the university’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Effiong Eyo, on Monday.
The announcement revealed that the University Senate reached the decision during an emergency meeting held on Friday, with the revised fees effective for the 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 academic sessions.
For non-science courses, the updated fees mandate freshmen, returning students, and final-year students to pay N111,000, N91,500, and N114,000, respectively.
Additionally, they are required to contribute N36,500, N21,500, and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.
Students enrolled in science courses face an increase to N155,000, N125,000, and N148,000 for freshmen, returning students, and final-year students. They are also obligated to pay N38,500, N21,500, and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.
In response to the fee hike, protesting students took to the streets on Monday, displaying placards with messages such as “Return to the old fees,” “Bring back our old fees,” and “We can’t afford the new fees.”
The demonstration escalated to the main gate, causing traffic congestion along Etta-Agbor and Mary Slessor roads in Calabar Municipality LGA.
Prior to the increment, tuition fees for an average student ranged from N64,050 for freshers to N52,050 for final year and N49,500 for returning students, depending on the department.
The management justified the fee hike by citing current economic challenges and the necessity to uphold the university’s academic standards.