We have learnt from students’ protest, says UNIBEN VC

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Lilian Salami, has commended students of the school who recently staged a protest against the recent hike in late registration fee from N10,000 to N20,000.

Sounding apologetic, Prof. Salami who spoke in Benin yesterday was, however, silent as to whether the school will refund the money to students who have already paid the late registration fee before the reversal by the institution’s Senate following the protest by the aggrieved students.

A contrite Prof. Salami noted that over the next few weeks, the school will reflect on the lessons learnt from the last few days.

She assured: “I have no doubt that it will shape its policies and back-end processes, how we gather the voice of the students and how we leverage technology to address these kinds of issues in the future.”

The vice-chancellor said that she was glad that none of the students was hurt throughout the duration of the protest which lasted for two days between Tuesday and Wednesday.

While reiterating her determination to be an advocate for creating an environment where all members of the university community can have a voice, she, however, noted that a few protesting students turned violent.

Prof. Salami said: “Protests and freedom of speech are a critical part of a well-functioning society. I continue to be an advocate for creating an environment where all members of the UNIBEN community can have a voice.

“That said, while most protesting students acted peacefully, a few turned violent-endangering themselves, their fellow students and our staff (including myself).”

The vice-chancellor explained that the decision to jerk up the late registration fee was borne out of the fact that early registration is critical for effective operations of the university as it provides insight into the students’ volume/demand and allows for smarter planning to ensure that the school has enough staff, courses and feud to support the students accordingly.

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