By Steve Oko
The Vice Chancellor, Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), Professor Onyemachi Ogbolu, has hinted of possible upward review of school fees in the institution to reflect the current economic realities.
Professor Ogbolu who gave the hint at a pre-convocation press briefing said that the current fees were no longer sustainable as the cost of running the university is becoming increasingly huge.
He noted that a situation where Medicine & Surgery students of the university pay N112,000 as school fees per session whereas their counterparts in neighbouring universities pay up to N3 million, is becoming unsustainable.
The VC appealed to parents and guardians as well as other stakeholders to understand the plight of the university and adjust their minds for the eventual fee hike if the university should continue to serve optimally.
He however noted that the proposal might be jettisoned if the institution gets someone to subsidise the fees.
Professor Ogbolu sympathized with parents and guardians but argued that for the university to deliver quality education to its students it needs funding.
“Let’s start preparing for the adjustment of our fees to reflect the current realities. We pay N112,000 per session for Medicine and Surgery students but elsewhere they pay N3 million.
“Some of our students pay N45,000 to N90,000 as school fees. These fees were set about 15-20 years ago and they are no longer sustainable because we all go to the same market to shop for lecturers.”
The VC who assumed duty last December said his administration was exploring opportunities to expand the academic programmes of the institution.
He hinted at plans to introduce Aeronautic Engineering, Dentistry, Community Health among others to meet the admission requests from applicants.
The VC also disclosed that the federal government had indicated interest to partner the university to expand its discovery on geo-mapping of covid-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that 5,712 students would be graduating at the 27th and 28th convocation ceremony scheduled for Friday November 12.
According to him, 29 students made the first-class list while others made different categories of marks.
On the welfare of staff, the VC said his administration with the support of the State Government was making efforts to defray salary arrears and pay workers at the end of every month.
According to the VC, former Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo would deliver a pre-convocation lecture entitled: ” Nigeria Political and Economic Future: The Dangers We Can Avert”.
He also said that some distinguished Nigerians including the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Nwachukwu; Nnamdi Ezeigbo of Slot Systems; and Dame Gladys Nne Nwafor would be conferred with an honorary doctorate degree at the event.
Similarly, some eminent professors in the university including former VC, Professor S. O Igwe; Professor G. I Nwaka; and Professor A. I Nwabughogu (posthumous) would be conferred with professor emeritus.