The University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) in Ondo state says it won’t reverse its decision to increase tuition fees for students of the institution.
The varsity had recently announced the hike in tuition fees for fresh students admitted into various medical and science programmes of the institution for the 2021/2022 session by more than 100 percent.
It is understood that with the arrangement, some students are required to pay as much as N1,320,000 as against N515,000 last session.
The development has continued to elicit mixed reactions, with parents and other stakeholders calling out the institution over the hike.
But speaking at stakeholders’ meeting on Friday, Adesegun Fatusi, vice-chancellor (VC) of the varsity, said the measure became imperative to sustain the institution.
Fatusi also said the tuition hike was not to inflict hardship on the parents and students as alleged in some quarters.
“Several times, I have struggled to understand what was going on in the mind of the initiators of this great dream when they conceptualised it with apparently no considerable thought about its infrastructural needs nor its financial sustainability,” he said.
“Our fee for the current students is only 10 to 15 percent increase and that is due to a number of factors and situation trends.
“This is a specialised school where only very few students are permitted to be trained for each course. For example, it is only 10 students for dentistry. So, when people compare prices, they cannot be comparing it with big universities that are all conventional universities that will have up to 100 to 200 students.”
The VC said the varsity, by its design as a specialised institution, requires capital to ensure its effective operation.
Fatusi also said despite the increase in tuition fees, the school is still cheaper when compared to others in the country.
“With the nature of this university, it is capital intensive in terms of equipment which are dollar-denominated. There is no way we can collect the same money we collected in the past with the dollar now at over N500 and the inflation rate at the level it is,”the VC added.
“Even for the new school fees, in at least 11 courses, the school fees are still under N200,000. It is only about three to four courses that the fees had gone up. If you even compare it to the other state universities of medical sciences in this country, our fee is still considerably cheaper.
“In addition, we have given 50 per cent discount to the indigenes of Ondo State. That is significant, no other state university has done that. With the way we are, we need generous fund increase in the university to make things work. Parents need to do their part, government, we hope this will be able to help us and other community members.
“We have all agreed that this school cannot move forward without increased funding.”
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