On May 18, 1955, a law was passed for the establishment of a university in the Eastern Region of Nigeria, accompanied by the enactment of a legislation by many Nigerian leaders and the then Premier of the Eastern Region, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. With the help of advisers from the United States of America and the United Kingdom in the planning of physical and educational aspects of the proposed university, the formal opening of the university was held on October 7, 1960, with the performance of the opening ceremonies by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra of Kent, who was in Nigeria to represent Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, at the Nigerian independence celebrations.
The University of Nigeria, popularly referred to as UNN and modelled on the American educational system, was founded in 1955 by Nnamdi Azikiwe but officially opened on October 7, 1960. It is a federal university that has its location in the Eastern Part of Nigeria – Nsukka, Enugu State – with three campuses in the state; Nsukka, Enugu and Ituku-Ozalla. The university is the first autonomous and full-fledged indigenous university in Nigeria and first land-grant university in Africa.
UNN hostel fees have increased to N35,000 annually.
Tuition and hostel fees have increased for undergraduates by 100 percent which has caused a disagreement between the school authorities and its students’ union. Following the 100 percent increase, first-year students of Faculties of Social Sciences, VTE, Agriculture Sciences, Education and Arts are to pay N110,000; second- and third-year students are to pay N85,000 while fourth-year students upwards are to pay N83,000. Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Health sciences and Basic Medical Sciences are to pay the highest tuition fees – 120,000, 95,000, 92,000; for first-year, second and third-year, and fourth-year students respectively.
Also, annual payment of hostel fees has increased to N35,000. Although agitated by this payment increase, the Students’ Union Government urged students and the university community to keep calm as they discuss reversal with the school authorities. The letter with Ref. No: SUG/UNEC/021/019, November 30, 2022, has the signature of the SUG President, UNEC, Comr. Cyprian C Idoko (Behaviour); SUG Deputy Senate President, Dist. Sen. Ali. Cajetan; and the Speaker of the SUG House of Reps., UNEC, Rt. Hon. Isaac Fredrick.
Pupils of UNN do not see any necessity for an 100% increment.
The letter stated that there have been previous meetings between the SUG and school authorities, held on November 26 and November 29, 2022, concerning the increment of school fees during which it was decided that there will be a revision in fees paid by undergraduates from tuition fee to hostel fee. Given the fact that the university is preparing towards the beginning of another session, the SUG; Executive Council, members of the House of Representatives and Senate; Hall Government Officials; and Faculty and Departmental Presidents converged at the SUG Secretariat UNEC at 5pm on November 30, 2022 for deliberations.
Students of UNN believe that the University’s proposal of an increment does not go in line with the realities in which they live in that development levies that has been previously paid by students in tuition fees have not brought about an improvement in infrastructure of any of the school’s campuses – Enugu campus, Ituku and Old site. Aside this, there are also situations whereby students are forced to pay in order to write exams, engage in pharmacology, cadaver and other practical learnings.
JCC says students should pay fees in line with current economic conditions.
Therefore, students are unable to believe there would be an end to these norms even when they begin to pay the proposed new tuition fees. As a result, the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) concluded that any proposed increase in fees by the University is unacceptable to the students as they are only permitted to pay fees that they deem considerate and in line with current economic conditions. This decision is based on the motto of UNN of being on the forefront of “restoring man’s dignity.”