Faculty of Science students, University of Lagos, have accused the institution of denying them the right to study their preferred courses in order to admit diploma students, who pay higher tuition.
According to Punch, the concerned students have complained that they were admitted into the university to study dentistry, nursing, pharmacology and medicine but they have been asked by the school authorities to study other courses like botany and microbiology.
They complained that the authorities introduced new entry requirements when they were about moving to 200 level, ignoring the fact that some of them scored more than the 50 per cent.
They pleaded with the Federal Government to direct the school authorities to change the new policies and also accused the university management of intentionally raising the bar in order to enrich the school.
On Tuesday, March 15, during a press briefing, they made their demands known.
One of the students, who identified himself simply as Bassey, said the university should explain how diploma students, who scored 3.0 and 3.5 in their courses, would be given the go-ahead to proceed to 200 level over students admitted through the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, who scored better grades.
“It is clear that the university administration prefers students who pay N400,000 per session to those of us who pay N55,000 per session. There are more than 500 diploma students which makes the university realize about N200m per session. Is that not enough to upgrade their facilities in order to increase their quota?That is just for Faculty of Science alone, how about other faculties in the school that they take money from”.
The National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign, Mr. Hassan Soweto also admitted that the university took a wrong decision.
Soweto said,“Yes, we do not want the facilities to be overstretched because it will affect the quality of education but it has to be resolved without violating the rights of the students and somebody within the management has to pay for it. this is a clear case of corruption. As it is now, UNILAG will always have more than enough students above the quota for the College of Medicine. The students did not fail but the authorities simply decided to manufacture a different entry requirement to weed out students.”
Head of Information Unit, Mr. Toyin Adebule, has however said that the school’s position is unlikely to change.
“Our position has not changed. In the past, we used to admit between 300 and 400 students and we have such a system that the number drops to between 100 and 200 by the time they get into 200 level. That was normal until the Nigerian Medical Association said we must not admit more than 150 students.We have to follow the guidelines and let me tell you that admission is provisional until you get into the clinical stage. That is when you are sure of graduating. Even the certificate is an award and look at what happened at the University of Port Harcourt. They were not able to graduate because of overpopulation. There is nothing we can do because we are being regulated.”
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