New Telegraph

UNIMED justifies tuition increment, says paucity of funds threat to institution’s survival

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, (UNIMED), Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi has disclosed that the specialised school might be faced with imminent collapse if under funding of the institution persists.

According to Prof. Fatusi, the recent increment in students’ fee was not done to place unnecessary burden on parents and students but the decision was taken with regards to necessary requirements needed to properly train students in medical fields.

The Vice Chancellor stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Odosida campus of the institution in Ondo town, where the present state and future of the school were discussed, particularly the recent increment.

While stressing that the institution was established on a faulty foundation, Fatusi maintained that
the thought of starting a new university without a single purpose-built structure and no take-off funds beats the imagination.

Fatusi, who took time to give a breakdown of the institution’s challenges since inception in 2014 as well as its running cost, stated that with the increment, UNIMED still charges the lowest fees among state-owned universities of medical sciences in the country.

He said: “Several times, I have struggled to understand what was going on in the mind of the initiators of this great dream when they conceptualized it with apparently no considerable thought about its infrastructural needs nor its financial sustainability.

“Our fee for the current students is only 10 to 15 percent increase and that is due to a number of factors and situation trends.

“This is a specialised school where only very few students are permitted to be trained for each course. For example, it’s only 10 students for dentistry. So, when people compare prices, they cannot be comparing it with big universities that are all conventional universities that will have up to 100 to 200 students.

“With the nature of the university, it is capital intensive in terms of equipment which are dollar denominated. There is no way we can collect the same money we collecting in the past with dollar now at over N500 and the inflation rate at the level it is.

“Even for the new school fees, in at least 11 courses, the school fees are still under N200,000. It is only about three to four courses that the fees have gone up. If you even compare it to the other state universities of medical sciences in this country, our fees are still considerably cheaper.

“In addition, we have given 50 percent discount to the indigenes of Ondo State. That is significant, no other state university has done that. With the way we are, we need generous fund increase in the university to make things work. Parents need to do their part, government, we hope will be able to help us and other community members.

“We have all agreed that this school cannot move forward without increased funding.”

On his part, the Students’ Representative Council led by Rashed Oloyede appealed to the state government and the school management to reverse the school fees schedule according to the year of admission.

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