Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has explained the recent 500 per cent hike in school fees at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA). He gave the explanation in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the 67th Inaugural Lecture of the Lagos State University in Lagos.
The governor said the students were not “being fair to students of other state-owned institutions by demanding for a reversal of the hike in tuition fee’’.
The students of AAUA had Monday began a protest in Akure against the hike in their school fees.
The Governing Council of the university had earlier announced a 500 per cent increase in tuition fees, thus triggering the students’ protest.
Akeredolu told newsmen that the old N30,000 fee was grossly lower to the fees being paid by students in the other two state-owned universities.
“Do you think you are being fair to students in other universities that you feel you will pay N30,000 and others will pay N150,000 in a state university being run by the same government.
“How do you expect the other students to feel when they do not have half of the facilities they have at AAUA.
“There is no way you can justify this. That state has three universities and there is this kind of difference in fees regime.
“With the increase, students in Adekunle Ajasin University will still be paying less than their counterparts in the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUTECH), Okitipupa and the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED),’’ Akeredolu said.
He explained that the university governing council reviewed the tuition fees, having considered the report of the Educational Summit held in the state.
He said the state government also compared tuition fees regime in the state’s universities in the South-West before approving the review.
According to him, the state government studied what was obtainable at the Ekiti State University, the Oyo State University of Technology and the Osun State University.
“Even with the new fees, AAUA is still paying less. I don’t think there is any astronomical increase in the tuition.
“The current fees cannot maintain the standard of education in the university that is one of the best state universities.
“If AAUA must maintain that academic excellence, students must be prepared to pay for it,’’ the governor said.