Postgraduate students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) has raised the alarm over what they called “a cruel decision” by the university whereby a postgraduate student admitted for a Masters Degree which should last for one year or two but which is allowed by university management to drag for say eight years, is expected to pay school fees for the eight years or more.
Some of the affected students told The Leader that the new policy affected all postgraduate students in FUTO from 2009 set upwards.
According to the aggrieved postgraduate students: “Thinking that one would start and finish a postgraduate program in FUTO within a stipulated period of a year or two is now a terrible nightmare, especially in School of Management Technology (SMAT). M.Sc. program for instance which ordinarily should run for a maximum of a year and six months in any serious university, the case is totally different in FUTO today. After the class works, it takes the school (FUTO) a couple of years to make the results available. After that, another number of years go before scheduling students for internal defense; in all honesty, it takes about 4 to 10 years to conclude PG program in FUTO today if actually it will. Results are delayed gratuitously with lecturers/staff taking undue advantage of the already frustrated PG students.
“Most regrettable, the management has come up with a cruel decision that: Postgraduate students in FUTO from 2009 set upwards, before you finally go for your external defence whenever you are eventually released, you must pay the school fees (Not less than N 100,000.00 a year for M.Sc) for all the years you were frustrated down with the program. This is the latest development in FUTO PG School, the first of its kind in any federal university in Nigeria. FUTO PG School is now purely a money-making outlet for the school management.
“Imagine our group, we started Masters Program in FUTO since 2009, concluded all class work and exams in 2011 but could not see our results till 2014 (3 years down after exams). It took the school till 2015 to schedule some successful students for internal defence which usually comes in trenches. Now, most of us whose thesis are ready have been yelling for the external defence, unfortunately we cannot be allowed because the management insists we pay school fees from 2009 down to 2016, which amounts to over N700,000.00 (Seven hundred thousand naira). Is it the fault of the students that a program meant for a year lasted for 7 years?
“We are strongly calling on the Federal Ministry of Education, to investigate these activities in FUTO PG School and do the needful. A lot of poor students have abandoned their external defence just because of this policy of the school management.”
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.