Your voices have been heard, UNIBEN VC tells students

Your voices have been heard, UNIBEN VC tells students

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The management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) has told students who staged a protest against the hike in late registration fee from N10,000 to N20,000 which was recently reversed, that their voices have been heard.

FILE: PROTESTING UNIBEN STUDENTS BLOCKING THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE INSTITUTION AT UGBOWO CAMPUS

Briefing newsmen on Friday, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami assured that institution will continue to encourage fair and open dialogue, noting that she is glad that “the protest concluded with no one being hurt”.

She assured that the reversal of the N20,000 by the Management of the University, is a closed case and will not break the University, but warned that violence in any shape or form has no place in the University of Benin and will not be tolerated.

The VC recalled that on the 2nd of August, 2020, the University of Benin Senate agreed to increase the existing payment of late fee from N10,000 to N20,000 on all students who passed due registration period as another attempt to further encourage early registration, which saw a significant growth in early registration – from last year’s rate of 35 percent to 93 percent, had addressed the negative down-stream impact on the quality of education and students’ support.

According to Prof. Salami, “while most protesting students acted peacefully, a few turned violent – endangering themselves, their fellow students and our Staff (including myself)”.

“In the same token, some students protested the imposition of the late fee and took to the streets to make their voices heard. Protest is a critical part of a well- functioning society.

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“As the Vice Chancellor, I will continue to encourage fair, open dialogue, but violence in n any shape or form has no place in the University of Benin and will not be tolerated. Freedom of speech does not and should never amount to chaos”, she said.

The VC stressed that “over the next few weeks, my administrative team and I will reflect on the lessons learnt from the past few days. I have no doubt that it will shape our policies and back-end processes, how we gather the voice of the students and how to leverage technology to address these kinds of issues in the future”.

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