AE-FUNAI Clinical Students Protest Accommodation Fee Hike, Urge Reversal
In a memo obtained ,the university directed the denial of hostel and classroom/clinic access to students defaulting on fee payments. The move comes after the management revealed outstanding fees of N71,642,100 and N99,678,200 for the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences and Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, respectively.
Clinical students at Alex Ekwueme Federal University (AE-FUNAI) express discontent over a directive from the university management to vacate hostels following protests against tuition and accommodation fee hikes. The university, founded in 2011, faces student resistance as 400A and 400B Clinical students demand a reversal of the recent fee adjustments.
In a memo obtained, the university directed the denial of hostel and classroom/clinic access to students defaulting on fee payments. The move comes after the management revealed outstanding fees of N71,642,100 and N99,678,200 for the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences and Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, respectively.
Aggrieved students, particularly from the 400A and 400B Clinical classes, voiced dissatisfaction with the fee structure. A peaceful protest occurred on October 10, 2023, highlighting concerns about exorbitant fees compared to other medical schools in South-south and South-east zones. The protesting students emphasized the optional nature of hostel fees in other institutions and sought a reduction to the initial N70,000 rate.
In a joint petition, the students urged the school management to address the multiple payment decree and consider reducing the medical students' fees to an affordable level. They also advocated for a return to the initial hostel fee of N70,000 and optional hostel stays.
The Public Relations Officer of AE-FUNAI, Elom Iyke Ubochi, urged students to exercise patience and pay outstanding fees, emphasizing the university's need to run programs effectively. Ubochi clarified that the students were not on strike but were expected to pay for their lectures despite hostel ownership disputes.
Dean of Students Affairs, Charles Okolie, dismissed claims of disrupted lectures, asserting the sacrosanct nature of fee payments for each session. He justified the directive to vacate hostels as a preventative measure against potential crises stemming from unruly behavior during protests.
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As the dialogue continues between students and the university management, the fee structure and student grievances remain at the forefront, raising questions about the accessibility and affordability of medical education at AE-FUNAI.