—- Mass withdrawal looming if not reversed
Dayo Johnson Akure
The Alumni association of the University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, Ondo has written an open letter to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu rejecting the 120 percent hike in tuition fees.
The letter entitled, “UNIMED Closure: Our Standpoints” was signed by its president, Richard Daodu.
Daodu said that the new tuition fees is unacceptable to the common man, adding that if it was high during their time in school, it would be very difficult for them to graduate.
He noted that ” if the fees were this high few years ago, most of us would not have been able to be alumni of this prestigious therapeutic institution of ours.
” This implies that if this new fee regime is not reviewed as it were, many of the current students may discontinue their studies. This is very sad and painful to us.
“While we understand the nation’s financial constraints which Ondo State is not left out of, the Ondo State government should still give more priority to funding UNIMED.
“The poor funding of the University by the government has put an overwhelming pressure on the management of the university in sustaining the university, thereby, necessitating the unfortunate increment in fees.
“We are appealing to our dear father of all in Ondo State, governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to reconsider this critical decision.
“The university is made up of people from all walks of life, and it is critical to think about the bottom layer while making decisions, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
“When we charge for quality beyond what the average person can afford, we risk returning our society to a time when education was only available to a privileged few. We want education to continue to be the only reliable solution to our society’s problems.
“As we are hoping that our tolerable Governor will intervene as soon as possible, we are also urging the university management to start exploring other options of generating funds internally.
“Such options include but not limited to research grants, building partnerships globally, and establishing business arms to offer daily goods and services processes to members of the university community and the general public.
“We are also seeking the support of our students, alumni members, parents and guardians to co-network with the Alumni Association and the University Management such that we can get necessary contacts of philanthropists, NGOs, and well-to-do individuals and organizations that will be willing to partner with us, especially, in terms of establishing an education trust funds scheme for indigent students.
“To our students, we would like to identify with your position of no increment as your brothers and sisters who had traveled a similar path; it is only natural that students take such a viewpoint.
“We appeal to all the student bodies, and parents and guardians, to employ restraints so that this situation is solved amicably.
“UNIMED has a reputation for being a University with unbroken academic calendar, which apparently, has been broken.
He added that ” Let us not break further good records with bad by damaging school properties or by threatening the management.
Daodu said that ” As partners in progress, we continue to work with the Visitor to the University and Governor of Ondo State, and the University Management to find a common ground that will be beneficial to all of us.