Fee Hike: Tension in LAUTECH as protest enter day two

There is reported tension in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, as students protest enter day two.

The students are protesting the over 200 per cent increment of tuition fee by the university management.

The school authority has officially announced increase in school fees with effect from 2018/19 academic session. The school is due to resume for the new session on October 29, 2018.

A mail sent to students by the institution on Monday shows that the new fees for returning students who are indigenes of Oyo and Osun States is N200,000, while non-indigenes are to pay N250,000 per session.

Before the latest hike, returning students who are indigenes paid N63,500 while non-indigenes paid N72,500. The present 100 level students paid N120,000 for indigenes and N150,000 for non-indigenes.

CAMPUS GIST gathered that as early as 6:00 a.m on Wednesday, the protesting students had completely shut down all the gates leading to the institution’s main campus in Ogbomoso and its medical school in Osogbo.

The students also set burn fires in front of the campuses, threatening to occupy the place until the school reversed the fees.

Activities on campus were grounded to a halt while vehicular and human movements were also restricted.

A source in the university reliably informed our correspondent that management had an intensive meeting with stakeholders of the university to plead and lure the student leaders to accept the increment ‘in the best interest of the school’.

“The student leaders stormed out of the meeting venue in annoyance, as they refused to shift ground on their earlier demand for total reversal of the increment.”

“They should not waste their time in luring us to accept the 200 per cent increment. They should rather look for way to reverse the increment and resolve all financial crisis of the institution in other ways”, one of the student leaders who attended the meeting told our correspondent.

Efforts to reach the Students’ Union President, Abiodun Oluwaseun Laurel for comment proved abortive. However, sources close to him told our correspondent that the students have rejected the increment in its totality.

He said, “We have closed all gates leading to the school campus and restricted all kinds of movement within the premises. Until our demands are met, we will continue to protest and stand by our decision. We can’t afford to have a large number of students drop out from school due to no fault of theirs.”

Also speaking, a top official of the school who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, lamented the situation of things on campus.

“No one is happy with the situation of things. We are all worried (about it) but we can’t just help it. The school is in a serious financial crises, salaries need to be paid, and other expenses too.

“We understand their worries and I can assure you that all will be resolved soon. We have plans to meet with relevant stakeholders and concerned bodies on the way forward”, he said.

(CAMPUS GIST)

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