Why Nigerian Students Pay More In Private Universities By Ebele Orakpo

In this era of recession, some families are finding it difficult to meet their most basic needs of shelter, food and clothing, and many more unable to afford sending their children to schools. In this report, Vanguard Learning presents the school fees of some tertiary institutions in Nigeria including federal, state and private institutions. This is to help prospective students and parents have a fair idea of what the fees are like so they can make informed decisions

FEES vary: From our findings, the fees vary depending on course, year (whether first year or returning student), federal, state or private university. In most cases, science courses cost more than non-science courses while professional courses like medicine and law cost even more.

Again, the higher you go in class, the lower the fees. First year students pay a lot higher than returning students because there are some fees paid in the first year that are not paid in subsequent years. It is worthy of note that undergraduate students in federal universities do not pay tuition fees but they pay other fees like acceptance, registration, laboratory, library and caution fees.

Satellite campuses

Reports show that while a returning student may pay as low as N19,700, a fresh student pays as high as N57,700 or more in a federal university. Also students in satellite campuses pay less because they are part-time students.

However, the private universities are a different ball game in terms of fees with some collecting as high as N3 million per session. The federal universities pay the lowest, followed by state and then private universities. In state universities, indigenes pay less than non-indigenes.

Breakdown: At the University of Lagos for instance, fresh undergraduates pay the following fees: Acceptance – N20,000; Registration – N5,000, Identity card -N1,000, Result verification – N5,000; Examination – N2,500; Medical Services – N2,500, Sports – N1,000; Laboratory Services – N10,000 (Science and Languages students only); Library – N2,500; Students’ Handbook – N1,000; Information Technology – N2,000; Endowment Fund – N5,000; Hire of Academic Gown for Matriculation – N1,000; Tertiary Institutions’ Social Health Insurance Programme (TISHIP) – N5,000. So a fresh science student in UNILAG is expected to pay N63,500 while a non-science student is expected to pay N53, 500.

For returning students, the fees are as follows: Registration – N1,000, Identity card -N1,000; Examination – N2,000; Sports – N1,000; Medical Services – N1,000; Laboratory Services – N5,000 (Science and languages students only); Library services – N1,500; Information Technology – N1,000; Endowment Fund – N1,000; TISHIP -N5,000. A returning science/Languages student, therefore pays N19,500 while a non-science student pays N14,500.

At the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, registration fee is N700, Library services -N350, Sports – N1,000, Exam- N5,000; Caution – N1,000; TISHIP – N2,000; Development fee – N20,000; ID card – N500, UNN calendar-N1,700; Lab/Computer; N2,000; ICT – N3,700; Visual Library access – N1,000; Professional fee of N2,500 paid by students taking professional courses like pharmacy, health science & technology, medicine, law, engineering etc.; orientation materials – N1,000; students welfare scheme – N500; SUG- N600, faculty dues- N500; departmental dues – N300; course registration fee- N500; Internet access fee – N12,000; Academic Handbook/Regulations – N4,600; Student Life/Accident insurance N1,500.

State universities: Unlike federal universities, state-owned universities pay tuition fee in addition to other fees, hence, students pay higher than federal universities. In Osun State University, tuition fee for fresh and returning sciences/anatomy/physiology/public health and non-science students is N75,000.00; while medical/nursing/law students both fresh and returning, pay N100,000.

Returning non-science students

ICT-N5,000; Library services-N5,000; Examination-N5,000 and Games -N5,000 across board.

Laboratory/bench fee is N5,000 paid by science/anatomy/physiology/public health and medical/nursing/law students.

College Handbook- N500 paid by only fresh students in all faculties. Caution fee – N10,000 applicable to only fresh students in all faculties.

Therefore, a fresh non-science student pays N105,500.00; a returning non-science student pays N95,000.00; a fresh science/anatomy/physiology/public health students pay N110,500.00 while a returning student pays N100,000. A fresh medical/nursing/law student pays N135,500.00 while a returning student pays N125,000.00.

At the American University of Nigeria (AUN), a private university in Yola, Adamawa State, tuition (15 credit units @ N53,000/credit) – N1,590,000 but for some courses like Petroleum chemistry, there may be an additional one unit so the student pays additional N53,000; Housing -depending on what the student wants is between N360,000 and N650,000.

Meal Plan costs between N273,700 and N678,300 based on student’s choice and number of meals per session.

Technology fee -N70,000; Sports -N50,000; Student Activity – N60,000; Health – N20,000; eBooks –N90,000; Graduation fee (only final year students) –N20,000.

Indigene/non-indigene: In state-owned institutions, indigenes pay less than non-indigenes. In Plateau State Polytechnic, indigenes pay N50,000 while non-indigenes pay N100, 000. Kwara State indigenes pay N28,000 and non-indigenes pay N44,000 at Kwara State Polytechnic.

For indigenes of Oyo State at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, school fee is N65,000 while non-indigenes pay N72,500.

Stakeholders speak: Asked why they chose the schools they did for their children, some parents say their choice was based on affordability, quality of lecturers, proximity to home and security.

Proximity to home and security

According to Mrs. Binta Iliyasu, they decided to send their children to a federal university for three reasons: “One, the fee was a determining factor. There is no point registering in a school that you cannot pay the fees. Two, quality of lecturers was another factor and three, proximity to the family.”

For Mrs. Ngozi Ndaji, although they had wanted their daughter to attend the federal university where they reside because of proximity to their home but they were happy with her choice of another federal university in another part of the country. She said she can never send her children to private universities because she feels admission there is for anyone who can afford the high fees whether they are qualified or not.

However, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, a parent with a son in a private university said he chose the university because though the fees were high but he was sure of his son graduating at the appropriate time. “A four-year course is a four-year course in a private university unlike in public schools where one is never sure of when he will graduate.

“Students spend extra years because of one crisis or the other and parents end up spending more in the long run apart from the students’lives being disrupted,” he said.

Mr. Ebuka Ukoh Williams, a graduate of Communication and Multimedia Studies from AUN, told Vanguard Learning that he had to move to AUN from the federal university he was attending in his third year because what he was getting was not his idea of education. He wanted something more.

“I left the school in my third year because learning in class for me, was not what education is supposed to be all about. It was like things were dropped in my head and I was expected to pour them out in an exam hall. If that is what education is all about, I want none of it. The fact is that consumption is good but any consumption that does not underscore production is nuisance.

“In AUN, we are made to understand that how successful you are is not in being the king of the jungle but in how well you are able to live and society is grateful that you exist because you are making meaningful contributions. AUN gave me the opportunity to impact the community for good,” he said.