In recent times, the hope of the average Nigerian seeking admission into tertiary institutions has been dashed. Not because they failed the entrance examination but because of the exorbitant Acceptance Fee set by universities, especially the state–owned.
Acceptance Fee is an unregulated, compulsory amount of money set by various institutions to be paid by newly admitted students into the institution without which the admission of such students could be voided or deferred.
This means that newly admitted students must pay any amount set by the institution of their choice as Acceptance Fee before they can proceed to other registrations, failure to do so means such students will lose the admission even after meeting all requirements and passing all necessary examinations.
This Acceptance Fee is unattached to the tuition fee and is not fixed. Sometimes, candidates seeking admission into universities dont know how much they will pay as Acceptance Fee until after they have been offered admission.
Few weeks after their admission, they will receive circular to pay caretan amount, often huge as Acceptance Fee. This scenario is even made more complicated when the school slams such fee with a deadline. If newly admitted students are unable to meet up with the deadline, it most times translates to forfeiture of their admission.
Some universities set their Acceptance Fee as high as between N50,000 and N120,000. These charges are a little below what is paid in certain private universities.
This has made so many Nigerians believe that some influential Nigerians have stake or shares in the private universities and are stylishly redirecting the traffic to private universities for their own gain.
Nigerians have to pay so much for sundry examination bodies -WASCCE, NECO etc. JAMB, Post UTME entrance examination or Screening form, and tuition fee before having access to tertiary education.
This has been the tradition in most state universities in Nigeria, with the Institutions management turning deaf ears to public outcry on this matter.
If a nation must grow, then education must be accessible. This hike in Acceptance Fee by state-owned universities is a barrier to accessible and affordable education evangelised by governments at all levels.
Many have been denied their right to education because of this high and extortionist fees in the universities.
This is why government at all levels and other relevant bodies must come to the rescue of poor but brilliant Nigerians who have not been allowed to have access to tertiary education because of inflated fees.
If Acceptance Fee must remain, then it should be regularised and fixed, so that it is now made affordable for would be students, and then put in public domain.
However, I feel the scrapping of Acceptance Fee should be encouraged. This will be much appreciated by average Nigerians. However, if the status quo remains, I am afraid, the future of the countrys education sector will be as uncertain as insecure.
- Abodunrin is a graduating student of the Department of Mass Communication, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko.