University of Nigeria management has learnt with sadness of a purported demonstration by a group of 40 students of the Enugu Campus protesting alleged increment in school fees.

University of Nigeria denies any increase in tuition fees in the institution but affirms the introduction of a service charge for the University’s ubiquitous, 24-hour Internet service on both Nsukka and Enugu campuses of the institution.

Following a restriction and near shutdown of the service in the last academic session, various stakeholders prevailed on the University Management to reintroduce the service given the benefits to all users.

The Students Union in particular led a delegation to the Vice Chancellor Prof Bartho Okolo to make a case for the service and agreed to a minimal cost for it.

University of Nigeria then introduced a service charge of N12 000 per session as Internet Service Charge, and this translates to N1000 per month for always-on Internet service.

We note that majority of students are at peace with this fee, given the high cost of the alternatives, as well as the need to recover a minimum cost to ensure continuous running and maintenance of the Internet service.

The unfortunate and ill-advised demonstrations by a group in the Enugu Campus comes against the back drop of return to normal academic calendar at UNN for the first time in nearly a decade.

UNN resumed for studies on September 27 for fresh students and October 4 for existing students and would vacate for the 2012/2013 academic year on June 30, 2013.

Return to a regular academic calendar would ensure that students graduate on schedule, and that both students and staff can derive the benefits of the hitherto normal three-month vacation including opportunities for holiday jobs, internships and travels that were part of the university calendar in the past.

University Management calls on all stakeholders, including parents and students, to collaborate with it to ensure that the University and students in particular reap the gains of this return to a regular academic calendar.

UNN would achieve this desirable goal for all stakeholders only in an atmosphere of peace and mutual tolerance as well as collaboration.

We call on the students to sheathe their swords and canvass their case through the Students Union, Departmental Associations and other representative organs within the institution.

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