ERC REJECTS N150, 000 TUITION FEE FOR B.SC/B.A PROGRAMME WITH CERTIFICATE IN ENTERPRENEURAL COURSES IN LASU
This is a Ploy to Pave the Way for Increase in Tuition Fee for All LASU Students
Our attention has been brought to the introduction of stream 2 admission process at the Lagos State University (LASU) which offers a B.SC and B.A. fulltime programme with certificate in 79 entrepreneurial courses. According to the publication on LASU website, the tuition fee for the newly introduced special programme is N150, 000 as against the normal B.SC, B.A & B.ED full-time programme which tuition fee is N25, 000.
We condemn this new programme tuition fee as it is a ploy to commercialize education, exploit admission seekers and their poor parents and prepare the way for the wholesale increase in the tuition fees of all undergraduate and post graduate students in LASU.
LASU is one University maintaining same standard of facilities, teaching and non-teaching staff for all category of students be it they are undergraduate or post graduate. Therefore there is no justifiable basis to create a new class of students who pay higher class of tuition fee while using the same standard of facility and academic resources as other students who pay less. This kind of Apartheid system of education has no place in our university system. We therefore demand an immediate reversal of the tuition fee to N25, 000 flat rate as paid by all LASU students regardless of their course of study. Instead, we call for more work to be done in improving the quantity and quality of education infrastructure available and increased governments funding in LASU.
Recall that just in 2014 that Lagos State Government under the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola reversed the hike LASU fee from N350, 000 and N180, 000 back to N25, 000 due to pressure from the mass protests and agitation by LASU students, staff and civil society organizations. It was this struggle popularly tagged SaveLASU that created the conditions for Lagosians and others to have more access to Lagos State owned public university education and the increased governments subvention to LASU. However, Five years after this reversal, the LASU management under the administration of Prof. Lanre Fagbohun is set to return LASU and Lagosians to its experience during the period of fee hike between (2011-2014) with his introduction of N150, 000 tuition fee programme to satisfy his greed and that of his cronies.
Yes greed because, LASU receives up-to half a billion Naira subvention from Lagos State Government every month – https://www.thecable.ng/asuu-lasu-rejects-new-acceptance-fee-students , a sum which is the highest subvention paid by any government in southwest Nigeria. Also, LASU had received 3 billion Naira TETFUND support – https://www.lasuforum.com.ng/p/1171/lasu-received-n3b-for-tetfund-vc-charges-lasu-community-to-b , this is aside all other internally generated revenue from other programmes and activities in the coffers of LASU. Therefore, giving all these resources available to LASU compared with all other state owned varsities, LASU management under the administration of Prof. Lanre Fagbohun is being callous, greedy and anti- people for increasing fees such as graduating students service charge, the acceptance fee, introduction of medical fee charge and again introducing a special programme with N150,000 as tuition fee.
Infact, we call for public scrutiny of Prof. Lanre Fagbohun-led management of LASU should in case they want to argue that, lack of adequate financial resources or that LASU is the only state university that charges N25,000 as tuition fee as the reasons for jacking of the special programme fee to N150, 000. We believe, if the resources in the coffers of the University are properly, judiciously and democratically managed to give priorities to students’ and workers’ needs, LASU should have advanced beyond its present state.
Presently in LASU, there are no adequate offices for staffs, no adequate lecture halls for students, no adequate functional hostels and restroom for students, staff earned academic allowance are yet unpaid, the students lecturer ratio is widening and over bearing, no enough staffs in some departments, stoppage of work at the LASU library under construction since 2016. Also in LASU, there are about 23,959 undergraduate students currently battling with the existing infrastructure. This is aside other students doing other programmes such as Diploma, Sandwich degrees and postgraduate studies. All this confirms that the existing infrastructures in LASU are already over-burdened. As such any attempt to introduce new programme without first of all expanding the quantity and quality of infrastructures available in LASU will amount to placing love for money ahead of quality education that is placing the cart before the horse.
Moreso, if the undergraduate students admitted under this stream 2 admission process are going to be using the same inadequate an decaying infrastructures as well as the same inadequate and over-burdened teaching and non-teaching staff then what is the justification for their outrageous tuition fee of N150, 000 while other students pay N25, 000? As we have always argued, the prof. Fagbohun-led administration in connivance with the Lagos State government have been nursing the agenda to turn back the hands of time by increasing fees through the backdoor. But they have always been afraid of provoking mass opposition given that the SaveLASU struggle of 2014 is still very much fresh in their memory. This is the reason why they have been trying to destroy ASUU LASU through dismissal of at least five (5) of its key leaders. Those who know their history will recall that ASUU LASU played a leading role in the struggle to reverse the fees in 2014. This is also why the management rigged the last Students Union election in order to ensure that those who cannot challenge their anti-poor agenda are in position of students’ leadership. The stream 2 admission process, an Apartheid admission process which artificially divides students into classes in order to destroy the unanimity of students and the Students Union, is nothing but a ploy to pave the way for a total increase in the tuition of all students at some point in the not-so-distant future.
It is in view of this that ERC condemn the introduction of special programme with N150, 000 tuition fee by LASU management led by Prof. Lanre Fagbohun. The decision amount to avarice, and it is a ploy to deny Lagosians and other admission seekers access to the state owned university and reduce the quality of education provided in LASU as well as to extort admission seekers and their poor working parents.
We urge the Students Union and staff unions to condemn this dangerous policy of the University administration. If this fee hike is allowed, then before long LASU will be back to pre-2014 period when the University almost became a ghost town as a result of its rapid loss of new student intakes due to the astronomical fees. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. We hereby urge the Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU) to immediately convene a congress of students in order to allow the mass of students to democratically discuss this development and agree on what should be done to fight for the reversal of the fee.
Hassan Taiwo Soweto ERC National coordinator
ERC National Secretary