Some final-year students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have allegedly been asked to go back to 200-level due to non-accreditation of their courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The disappointed students who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity said the directives came from the office of the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, describing the decision as inhumane and inconsiderate as millions of naira have already been invested and the years spent cannot be gotten back.
The courses affected by the accreditation issue include Fine and Applied Arts, Mass Communication, Pharmacy, Music amongst others.
According to the students, the affected courses were newly introduced during the administration of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the school, Prof. Zana Akpagu. They alleged that the incumbent vice-chancellor has a personal vendetta against her predecessor, and she was taking it out on the students.
One of the students 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 said;
“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 said,
“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 personal problems.”