‘Why UNIPORT Increased Part-Time School Fees’

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The spokesman of the University of Port Harcourt, Dr William Wodi,  said on Thursday that part-time students of the university were consulted before school fees were increased.

Wodi said in Port Harcourt recently that the University increased the fees due to the withdrawal of lecturers from the part-time programme.

Part-time students of the university on Monday, embarked on a peaceful protest against the “arbitrary increase in our school fees.”

The students claimed that the fees had been increased from N40, 000 to N105, 000 for part-time students and from N50, 000 to N200, 000 for new students.

Wodi said the institution had earlier agreed with the students for an increment of N105, 000 as against the N40, 000 they presently paid.

He said the university had increased school fees for part-time programme only and never hiked fees of regular students.

The university spokesman claimed that some universities in the country charged as high as N200, 000 to N250, 000 for their part-time programmes.

“It is not true that the children (students) were not consulted. We had a town hall meeting with them here on campus; they on their own said we should give them N90, 000, we said no, we argued down to a N105, 000.

“The Vice Chancellor personally presided; he did not associate it to any of his deputies. He spoke with them and told them (students) the difficulties we were encountering, especially the threat by the lecturers.

“We do not teach part time students with rented lecturers as is the case in some other institutions, because we want to assure the same quality control (with senior lecturers of the university).

“For instance, Professors are withdrawing from the programme, that they cannot go to CCE (Centre for Continued Education) from the campus to teach, come back 11 in the night and be paid N40, 000, so they said unless they are paid more than that (they will not teach). “Now we want to pay professors N100, 000 to return them to the programme.”

Wodi said the part-time programme was being run by the university, adding that fees adjustment did not need to be approved by the National Universities Commission.

He debunked the claim that the university threatened to dismiss students who took part in the protest.