Protest rocks UNICAL over fee hike, as students block major roads in Calabar

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Students at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have taken to the streets in protest of a tuition price increase of more than 100%.

The University of Calabar (Unical) convened a meeting over the weekend where the decision to raise tuition rates was made.

In the statement by the university’s PRO, Mr Effiong Eyo, made available to newsmen on Monday, disclosed that the upward review of the tuition fees was taken at an emergency meeting of the University Senate on Friday.

The release stated that the implementation of the upward review takes effect from the 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 academic sessions.

Findings showed that with the increase, freshmen, returning students, and final-year students for the non-science courses are expected to pay N111,000, N91,500, and N114,000, respectively.

They are also required to pay N36,500, N21,500, and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

In the same vein, students in the science courses were increased to N155,000, N125,000, and N148,000, respectively, for freshmen, returning students, and final-year students.

Similarly, they are also to pay N38,500, N21,500, and N21,500, respectively, as third-party dues.

However, in the early hours of Monday, students of the institution took placards with various inscriptions to protest the hike in tuition fees as well as other charges, asking the management to rescind its decision.

Some of the inscriptions include “return to the old fees, bring back our old fees, we can’t afford the new fees, UNICAL SUG, wake up,” among others.

The students who matched around the school premises took their protest to the main gate of the school, causing traffic gridlock along Etta-Agbor and Mary Slessor roads in Calabar Municipality LGA.

Findings showed that before the increment, tuition fees for an average student, depending on the department, were N64,050 for freshers, N52,050 for the final year, and N49,500 for returning students.

The management explained that the increment was necessitated by the current economic realities and the need to maintain the academic standard the university is known for.