Wigwe University Poised to Be Nigeria’s Costliest Institution, Raising Questions on Accessibility


Wigwe University

Wigwe University, founded by the late Herbert Wigwe, former CEO of Access Bank, is set to open its doors in August 2024. However, with tuition fees ranging from ₦9.6 million to ₦11.9 million (approximately $21,500 to $27,000), the university is on track to become the most expensive in Nigeria.

The university is keen on providing a world-class education that equips students with the knowledge and skills to be future-ready.

Wigwe died in a helicopter crash alongside his wife Chizoba, and son Chizzy in California on February 9, 2024.

Located in Isiokpo, Rivers State, the university will offer a diverse range of programmes across four major colleges, including the College of Management and Social Sciences, the College of Art, the College of Science and Computing, and the College of Engineering.

The management of the university, while defending its decision to charge in dollars, recently stated that home students would pay their fees in naira, while international students could select the dollar payment option

It said the decision was a strategic one that aligns with its vision to attract a diverse and international student body.

This hefty price tag has sparked debate about accessibility and elitism in Nigerian higher education. While the university promises a “top-tier education” with an emphasis on future-focused skills, critics question whether such a high cost excludes deserving students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

• High Fees: Wigwe University boasts the most expensive tuition fees in Nigeria, with the College of Arts being the least expensive at ₦9.6 million and other colleges reaching ₦11.9 million.

• Comprehensiveness: The fees reportedly cover not just tuition but also books, lab supplies, student activities, and other expenses.

• Accessibility Concerns: Critics argue that these costs create a significant barrier for students from lower-income families, potentially limiting opportunities for talented individuals.

• Focus on Quality: Wigwe University maintains that the high fees reflect their commitment to providing a world-class education with cutting-edge resources and international exposure.

The debate surrounding Wigwe University highlights the complex issue of affordability in Nigerian education. While the university offers a potentially high-quality experience, its exclusivity raises questions about the future of access to quality education in the country.

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