Students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Cross River State, have called out the institution’s new Vice Chancellor, Florence Obi, for asking final year students in some selected departments to go back to 200 level due to non-accreditation of their courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The students, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the courses have gulped millions of naira taken from their families, and described the VC’s decision as inhumane and inconsiderate.
The students explained that courses affected by the accreditation issue include Fine and Applied Arts, Mass Communication, and Music.
According to them, the affected courses were newly introduced during the administration of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the school, Zana Akpagu.
They alleged that the new Vice-Chancellor of the institution had personal scores to settle with the former Vice-Chancellor and that the animosity was taking a toll on students’ lives.
One of the respondents said, “I have an issue in my school and I don’t know where it is heading to. I am a final-year student in the Fine and Applied Arts department at the University of Calabar but the Vice Chancellor is telling us to go back to Year two so that NUC will recognize us.
“This is after paying school fees for four years and wasting money for materials which have so far, amounted to millions of naira. The new VC is now telling us we have to comply with this directive else we will not have a result.”
Another student described the VC’s directive as unfair, saying the issue should be reconsidered for the sake of the students.
“There’s an issue going on that is unfair. We are students of the University of Calabar. We have been in the school from 100 level to final year. For some of us in selected departments such as Fine & Applied Arts, Mass Communication, and the rest, the VC is telling us that we have to go back to 200 level and we are already in the final year.
“We have spent money; Fine and Applied Arts gulp a lot of money, we are in final year and now they are telling us to go back to 200 level and it is just an accreditation issued by the NUC and now the new VC does not want to consider people. Something has to be done.”
When asked if the VC promised a tuition waiver for the students, he replied that school fees were the least of his worries but rather the time and efforts wasted over the years.
“Paying school fees is not an issue, we are not worried about that. Do you know, sometimes, in a day we spend like N5,000 to N6,000 in buying chemicals and the rest and we did this for four years. We are planning on taking legal steps against them.
“Our set is the first set of Fine & Applied Arts in UNICAL alongside Mass Communication and Music. They were not taking the course before now, they just registered it.
“The former VC, we believe has an issue with the new VC, and this new VC cannot go and settle the issues they have so we can graduate in peace, they are making it affect us.
“The former VC introduced the courses. We cannot suffer because of someone else’s problems.”