Following the furore that trailed the newly announced tuition fees at the Osun State University, which recorded over 100 per cent increase, the Vice-chancellor, Prof. Lapo Popoola has said that the increment became necessary to salvage the university from collapse.
Popoola opined that all critical stakeholders in the university were carried along in the process to save the ivory tower against imminent shutdown.
Speaking with newsmen on Monday at a press conference in Osogbo, the VC explained that the increment only affected the new intakes, saying old students would continue to pay the old charges.
He said “in arriving at the revised fees, all sectors of the university community as well as relevant stakeholders like the Alumni Association, students, the workers’ unions, and the parents’ forum were carried along throughout the process.
“This review is based on need and also necessitated by the financial challenges being experienced by the University and the need to take an urgent step such as this to save the university from imminent shutdown.”
The university don stressed that the institution was suffering from serious financial crisis that almost make it the “poorest university” in Nigeria due to the inability of the government to adequately fund the university.
He added that despite the sincere and genuine desire of the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is the visitor of the university to support the institution, he has been incapacitated by the economic reality in the country.
“In 2011, the university lost between 42.3 per cent 51.6 per cent of revenue from tuition following the downward review of tuition fees, which was announced by the visitor to the university, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“It is pertinent to point out that the downward review by the governor, which was patriotic and very well intentioned at that point in time did not factor the effect of the two-digit inflation rate and the recession currently faced by the country.
“This was part of the situation I met, including the problem of unpaid backlog of school fees owed the university by many of our students over several sessions”, he said.