New Session With Different Realities For UI Students, Time To Buckle Up For The Rollercoaster

School is back in session. As a student of the University of Ibadan, you might choose to hide from it or pretend like ‘not much’ is happening, but that would only be doing yourself a disservice. The truth stares right in all of our faces. And while many other stakeholders of the University – although subject to the calendar – can afford to operate on a relatively higher level of indifference, students do not have that luxury. We’re two weeks into the first semester of the 2022/2023 session. Lectures have begun. Businesses and services are running. All manner of activities are in full swing. Simply put, the University of Ibadan is the same as always.

Well, not exactly. The University of Ibadan to which all have resumed these past two weeks might look the same, for the most part, but beyond the physical environment, certain changes have and are still taking place. These changes make it imperative that the current reality be examined and analyzed critically. So, what is the current reality?

New Academic Schedule

In the 4641 Special Release circulated on the 15th of August, 2023, the University Management revealed the Academic Calendar for this session, specifying a duration of 11 Weeks for Teaching and Revision. That’s two weeks less than the usual thirteen; a decrease that might look negligible, but is sure to have quite the impact.

To begin with, it points to the determination of the Management to run a faster schedule. A combination of the pandemic and industrial actions in recent years has resulted in UI running a slower schedule than several of her counterparts. However, sticking to an eleven-week lecture schedule, would mean one less month per session.

For returning students, it means a continuation of the system used in place in the second semester of last session. Lesser weeks of lectures translate to less time to study increasingly complicated material, and hence, the need to draw up new plans. It would also imply that adjustments might be made to the timing of Industrial Training Schemes, projects, etc. for several departments. For many who are involved in extracurricular activities, most of which are tasking, this will prove to be a test of prioritization and time-management skills; most especially in the activity-packed second semester.

Furthermore, for the new students, a shorter calendar has less of an effect; seeing as they might have had no prior experience in such a setting. However, it does mean less time to adapt to the rigors of lectures and studying in a higher institution. It also implies less room for errors overall. Fortunately, several orientation exercises, including one by the University itself, have been organized to help in this regard.

Among other things, a faster schedule could aid improved alignment for the National Youth Service Corps scheme. This situation also translates to a shorter period for lecturers to cover their respective syllabus. Many would have to resort to creative methods to ensure they complete all that’s required. Admittedly, efficiency might be reduced, but not so much that it dampens the overall scholarly output.

The Economy Says…

The University of Ibadan is a micro-economy which depends largely on the external economy. Players in this micro-economy include students, lecturers, non-academic staff (e.g laboratory attendants, administrative staff, hall porters, etc.), residents of mini-communities like Abadina, transport workers, caterers, and so many others that can’t be captured in this piece. And at the moment, if asked, every single one of these individuals would tell you the same thing, “Let the poor breatheeee”. It’s a situation that warrants serious belt-tightening and frugality in terms of spending.


Prior to the announcement of school fees for this session, the apprehension in the air was palpable, and for good reasons too. In June, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed into law the Students Loan Act which was summarily aimed at setting up a structure for the disbursement of loans to students in tertiary institutions. This act signaled the beginning of the end of subsidized tertiary education in Nigeria; a scary reality for the 94% undergraduate population in Federal and State universities as of 2022 (according to the National Universities Commission).

So, when other universities started announcing increments to their school fees, students of the University of Ibadan awaited a similar result. A separate utility fee of 20,000 Naira was newly introduced. And then the accommodation fee soared. More surprisingly, new students were charged 15,000 Naira higher than their returning counterparts; a development that has stirred quite a few conversations. For some, they worry about the justification for the discriminatory fees in accomodation, while some are aggrieved with the depleting state of the halls of residence.


To begin with, transportation within the campus has become a luxury. It is not uncommon to see droves of students walk along the road in the heat of the day, choosing to traverse long distances on foot rather than opt for a tricycle or cab. Even at the expense of lateness, many prefer to walk – or jog – as the case might be. They might arrive sweaty but at least they would arrive without a dent in their pockets or purses. And that is another undeniable reality.

For those living in off-campus student communities like Agbowo and Ajibode, walking isn’t exactly an option. This leaves most students based off-campus with no option but to shoulder the cost of transportation to-and-fro from UI daily, at costs that are unlikely to be redressed to a truly sympathetic rate.

Unfortunately, these patterns have several downsides. For one, walking long distances, although beneficial in the long run, increases stress and would lead to increased susceptibility to several illnesses. While for students staying off campus, or those who might have to shuttle themselves to even farther locations like the Distance Learning Center or Department of Architecture, it would mean incurring huge costs just to attend classes each day. The same goes for all other parties who have to be at these locations daily; from professors to cleaning staff and even students attending any of the primary and secondary schools located within UI’s walls. Lastly, for transporters, decreased patronage equates to decreased income. A net negative that even the most delusional optimist won’t be able to ignore.


In May earlier this year, IndyPress released a story on how inflation was affecting UI students. The inflation rate at the time was 22.04% (according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics). It’s been well over three months since then, and although the data suggests there hasn’t been much of an increase (24.08% as of July), the situation on ground appears apparently otherwise.

For instance, while the price of most items in cafeterias have remained the same, it now costs significantly more to purchase the same amount of food that one would have gotten last session. Again, like the transport workers, vendors aren’t to be blamed. The cost of raw food items, condiments, and ingredients, as well as other factors of production like labour, alternative power sources etc. has made business conduct a lot more capital intensive. The nature of the goods and services provided also means that even though people will buy less, overall patronage would not fall. Two pieces of fish might become one or none at all, but there is a guarantee for vendors that something else would be purchased.

This guarantee also stems from the knowledge that cooking is considerably expensive for many students. With the tight academic schedule, the cost-effectiveness of cooking appears even more questionable; although, for the most part, only fresh students would have to deal with this. Staylites have had the advantage of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. If you are a fresh student reading this, do try to sort out your feeding system as soon as possible. The earlier, the healthier.

Other Goods and Services

Away from food, others like laundry, barbing, and printing services have also taken slight price bumps. New students, in particular, have been the most hit by the latter; with multiple documents requiring hardcopy submissions during registration. The increasing number of student-run printing and photocopy outlets might suggest that some see this area as one that needs to be explored even further.

Moving on, the cost of goods also tells a similar story. Items that have remained the same in terms of quality and quantity now go for higher prices; with price increases often in the range of 50 to 200 Naira. And while this might not seem like a lot for a lone item, it is certain to increase individual expenditure considerably. Heck, even a stick of Chicken suya now goes for 600 Naira.

For ‘studentpreneurs’, now is a time as good as any to strategize. Higher costs of living equates a lower consumer base to be served by quite a few providers. Also, the introduction of fresh students offers an opportunity to gain new customers, but only if said ‘studentpreneurs’ are speedy and clever with advertising. It would also be to their advantage if theirs cost less than is obtainable both within and outside UI. Although, this brings up the question of long term sustainability, it is a strategy that can be implemented to at least gain customers, after which adjustments would have to be made.

Milestones and Opportunities

Regardless of the aforementioned, it is important we realise that not all change is a negative. Even in the toughest of situations, such as that which we are presently in, there’s always something to look forward to.

UI at 75

The 75th anniversary of Nigeria’s foremost University will take place officially on the 17th of November this year. In typical fashion, this will involve a month-long celebration; punctuated by events such as project launches, seminars, lectures, dinners, charity matches etc. Students aren’t left out in this celebration, as there would be competitions and other opportunities to celebrate outstanding students.

It would also provide opportunities to network with alumni; who ordinarily would not be accessible by the student body. Many of today’s ‘self-made’ entities are persons who were opportuned to connect to the right individual, at the right time and who eventually have forged their own path afterwards. Yes, academics is our primary assignment as students, it shouldn’t be a limitation. It is therefore important to build relationships with those who have gone ahead. That said, this is not a call for anyone to become a sycophant in the name of networking, or a nuisance with inconsiderate demands for sponsorship/partnership. Missteps always have consequences. Stay guided.


There are multiple opportunities to compete, several prizes to win and more recognitions to own up as long as one can keep the eyes peeled. In fact, in the last month alone, UI students have participated in and won Policy Hackathons, Debate contests, beauty pageants, talent shows, academic contests and more. Some of these competitions, which had involved students from other countries, have nevertheless had UItes hold their own tops.

For fresh students, there are a number of competitions on the horizon that you can be a part of. An example is the UI Students’ Union Freshers Oratory Contest which is to take place on the 11th of September. All you have to do is ensure you are part of your hall’s Literary and Debating Society. There’s also the UI ResDev Hackathon, also organised by the UI SU, which will take place later in the year. For competitions outside UI, you can follow pages like OpportunityDesk on Twitter and Facebook for timely updates. You would also do well to be active on your departmental, faculty, and hall pages as several of these opportunities get published on those platforms. Fresh students and staylites alike are encouraged to actively seek out scholarships and grant opportunities. Keep in mind that the worst that can happen is rejection. Winners, they say, don’t quit.


“The more things change, the more things remain the same”. Once again, school is back in session. Try as you may, the fact remains that the 2022/2023 session has begun, and YOU are a part of it. Welcome back to the U of I!

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