50 medical students, others, may drop out of school as fees increase in Kano Varsity bites harder
The dream of Amina Ado (not her real name), a 300-level medical student of Bayero University, Kano, to become a medical doctor in the near future may soon be shattered because of the inability of her parents to foot the new registration fee.
Amina, who had struggled to scale through the rigour of gaining admission to study the highly competitive MBBS/BDS program and since spent more than four years including the wasted striking period, is about to waste the most productive time of her life.
It may interest the public to know that Amina is not the only student battling to survive the present predicament. She, however, revealed that out of 170 persons in her set, about 50 students from less privileged homes could not afford the over 200 percent increase now pegged by the management.
Before the new pay regime, MBBS/BDS students were paying N50,000 including registration and departmental fees. The fee, however, went as high as N220,000. Aside from the medical students, The Guardian learned that thousands of students from other faculties facing similar challenges have cried out for help.
Although the university management last week, announced a further extension of the payment window to September 1 to enable parents to foot the bill, it was not certain whether or not the majority of the indebted parents would be able to meet up considering the present economic reality.
Reacting to the increase in the registration fee, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Adamu Abbas Sagir, revealed that the management was left with no choice but to raise the bar of fees to meet the minimum resources needed to run the institution.
Besides, the VC insisted that BUK has the lowest fee compared to entire higher education institutions in Northern Nigeria. He added that, contrary to negative insinuations, the management has no intention of deliberately making things difficult for students.
Professor Sagir, who spoke with journalists recently on the development, revealed how difficult it has been for the university to meet its basic minimum necessities amidst huge responsibilities.
Although he disclosed the remittance of N11 million monthly overhead from the Federal government, the VC, however, stressed how he spends not less than N150 million monthly to run electricity, supply water, provide security, and provide other outsourcing services.
“We did a general analysis of the cost of everything we disburse on in the university and the final fee announced is the minimum we need to run the system. Anything below that standard will fall short of the standard and that would affect the academic and administrative system.
“Moreso, I want to challenge members of the society to find out the amount we charge and compare it with other universities. You will find out that BUK is charging the least. And that was the reason we initially broke our two-week period of payment to one month to enable parents to meet up with the payment.
“The management understands the reality of the economy, and we cannot deliberately mount pressure on parents because we are all from the same background. Yet, we can’t do otherwise. The Federal government only pays N11 million monthly as overhead while we spend over N35 million on diesel for two weeks”, VC noted.
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