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Afe Babalola University demands accommodation levy despite moving classes online

Celebrating Afe Babalola University’s ranking by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

As universities across the world are seeking ways of mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on students and parents, Afe Babalola University has increased the cost of tuition for programmes run in the university. The university is also charging full accommodation fee of N400,000 despite moving its lectures online for the first semester billed to commence on Monday, September 29,2020.

Parents who spoke with BusinessDay also alleged that they paid the full accommodation fee of N400, 000 for the last semester despite the fact that their children spent barely five weeks on campus out of the three months duration for a semester.

The parents, who craved anonymity for fear that their children could be victimised by the institution’s authorities said, “We paid N400,000 for accommodation last semester. The students learned online, yet the school did not refund a dime to us.

“Surprisingly, the university is asking us to pay full accommodation fee of N400,000 even after we have been informed that there would not be in-person teaching for the whole of the first semester. This does not make sense to us at all.”

READ ALSO: Don’t wait until Nigeria is COVID-19 free before reopening of universities, FUOYE VC tells FG

Asides the accommodation fee, the school has also increased its tuition. For example, tuition and accommodation for engineering which used to be N1.6 million per session before Covid-19 has been increased to N1.826 million. The university is only registering students that have completely paid the accommodation and other fees.

As a result of this, parents and guardians were forced to pay for their children to register for remote learning.

When contacted on the telephone, to justify the tuition increase by N200,000 and the demand on students to pay accommodation even when lectures would be online, Christy Olubode, the registrar of the university, said: “I have nothing to say to you. Information on the website is purely university decisions and policies. Thank you.”

Recall that two private universities in Nigeria-Caleb University, Imota, Lagos and Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo in Oyo State, have said they would reimburse the accommodation fees for the second semester to students that had earlier paid for hostel facilities.

The vice-chancellors of these universities in separate statements obtained by BusinessDay stated that the institutions had to take the decision since students did not stay on campus due to school closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Caleb University’s vice-chancellor, Nosa Owens-Ibie, a professor, had said that students were asked to stop paying when it became apparent that they would not resume for the second semester physically due to the pandemic.

He had said: “Although the university had anticipated physical resumption during the semester, delay in resumption has led to the institution advising students who paid accommodation fees of the option of carrying such component of the fees forward or getting a refund, adding “all students were however allowed to register for courses on the portal during the semester irrespective of fees status while those unable to pay fees due to Covid-19 challenges have been given access to the university’s e-learning platform.”