Protests Erupt at University of Jos Over 300% Tuition Fee Hike

by Ikem Emmanuel

Students at the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in Plateau State, Nigeria, have taken to the streets in protest against a significant increase in their tuition fees. The demonstration comes in response to the university’s decision to raise fees by over 300%, causing outrage among the student body.

Protesters carried placards bearing slogans such as “Our right, education must not be violated” and “Degree; not debt. Fees Must fall.” These students are demanding an end to the exorbitant fee hike, which threatens to make higher education unaffordable for many.

The University of Jos had announced the tuition fee increase in late July, sparking immediate backlash. Under the new fee structure, 100 and 200 level students would be required to pay N213,000, up from the previous N45,000, while students in their third year and above would pay N160,000.

This move follows a previous fee increase in 2017 when the university raised fees from N27,000 to N45,000. At the time, the university’s leadership cited rising costs, budgetary constraints, and the need to improve infrastructure as reasons for the hike.

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It remains unclear whether the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tanko Ishaya, sought the input or agreement of the student union, parents, or other stakeholders before implementing this substantial fee increase.

The protests at UNIJOS mirror similar demonstrations at other Nigerian universities, including the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Many Nigerians, including parents and students, have voiced their concerns over the recent trend of dramatic fee hikes in higher education institutions across the country.

Critics argue that these increases are part of a broader “neoliberal agenda” by the government, led by President Bola Tinubu, which could further limit access to education for underprivileged students. With millions of Nigerians already living in poverty, such fee hikes have the potential to exacerbate the challenges faced by many seeking a college education.

In light of these protests, students, their families, and concerned citizens are calling for a reevaluation of these fee hikes, emphasizing the importance of accessible and affordable education for all. The debate over tuition fees in Nigerian universities continues to be a pressing issue as students demand fair and equitable access to quality education.

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