Education Project Topics

Investigation of the Effect of University Tuition Fee Increase on Tertiary Student Drop Out





Universities across the globe continue to face very serious issues that have terrible implications for educational practice.Fees increase has damaging impact on both students and their programmes. For instance U.K. introduced fees increase in 2013 in her universities, the increase led to drop in enrolment up to as many as 18,000 students. In Australia, eight top universities used fees increase to down-size their students’ enrolment. Thus fees increase led to increased drop-outs and loss of opportunity for education.In Nigeria, national universities from inception began to grapple with issues of admission, accommodation, education policies, student unionism,funding and the likes coupled with the Government removal of subsidies from universities in 1978 via “Ali Must go Saga’.

The recent and sudden increment of tuition fee in Nigeria public tertiary institution has become an issues of great concerned to both researchers and the masses who have been forced to think that Government do not mean good for the low class citizen and those who cannot afford to enroll in private university. The increase has had a toll on many students who could not continue in their programme and because of high school fees.Many students whose parents or self sponsored ones who could not afford the fees dropped out of their programme. Irregular attendance to school and absenteeism by students became regular features. Some of the students who do not drop-out moves out of hostel accommodation. Some student resort to find shelter outside the campus in cheaper accommodation. Some of the females raped in the process, others are robbed. Some of the males are killed. Many off-campus students begins to skip classes, as a way of saving money. Some students will be combining  schooling and doing odd jobs and so maximum attention will no longer paid to lectures. High increase of poor academic performance  will set in and many other implication attached to increment in tuition fees in Nigeria. Therefore it is upon this premise that this study is set to critically investigate the effect of University tuition fee increase on tertiary student drop out.


Dropping out of education can be costly for individuals, especially if there is an increased risk of unemployment and associated lower lifetime earnings (Arulampalam et al., 2005). Students both at the private and public tertiary institutions face varieties of hikes in their tuition and other fees in schools with little or no consideration of parental income, students’ socio-economic status, and other factors that may limit students from continuing their education.

Some education analysts and students interviewed believed that the government and/or the proprietors of tertiary schools and the school authorities never wanted the poor to go to school so that the socio-economic class-margin will continue to widen the more. No wonder the incessant hikes in both the tuition and other fees in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. For example, at the time of this research, the 2014/2015 postgraduate tuition fee of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was almost doubled from what was paid in the 2013/2014 academic session. That of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) was also raised in the past few years, and the current hike of Kaduna State University Tuition Fee from N26,000 to N150,000 for students in the Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences.It was also reported that the institution increased tuition fees in the Faculty of Medicine to N300,000 as against N24,000 while non-indigenes will pay N500,000.


Consequently, as the tuition fees of these tertiary institutions continue to rise without adequate consideration of the poor students that engages in menial jobs such as: “okada”, “keke-na-pepe”, bus conducting, and so on to pay up their tuition in order to gain formal education. The number of dropouts has continued to increase with most of the dropouts engaging in social evil such as; cultism, armed robbery, fraud stars, kidnapping, touts, and other illegal means livelihood, since the labour market is very competitive and there are no jobs for them. Some graduates go as far as taking up gate-men jobs, security jobs in residential homes, and also employed as car washers in garages. However it is against this backdrop that this study set to investigate the effect of tuition fee increase on student drop out.

Read Too:  Comparative Analysis of Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in English Language, Computer Science and Integrated Science in External Examinations From 2003-2007. (a Case Study of Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State)


The focus of this study is to investigate the effect of tuition fee increase on school drop out. Specifically it will examine the rate at which national universities come up with sudden tuition fee increase. It will determine the extent at which tuition fee increase lead to student absenteeism from school. It will examine if scholarship or government education subsidies will reduce the level of drop out among student  of tertiary institution in Nigeria.


This study will be significant to the general public ranging from student, educational stakeholders, policy makers and school management boards. To policy makers it will draw their attention on the need to draw strategies of making education affordable for common man rather than a burden. To the government reinforce the need to subsidized education  in tandem with National policy on Education (geared toward free and compulsory education for all) which is a great tool for national development. The study encourage student to be resilient even in the face of inconsideration on the need of not giving up on their educational pursuit rather sought for legal ways to support  themselves rather than resorting to social vices. The study will be beneficial for international non-governmental  organization like USAID UKAID to grant more scholarship to serious student who are at the verge of dropping out of school. Finally the study will contribute to the body of knowledge, serving as a reference material and give room for further academic research on this field.


The scope of this study is to investigate the effect of tuition fee increase on school drop out. It will examine the rate at which national universities come up with sudden tuition fee increase. It will determine the extent at which tuition fee increase lead to student absenteeism from school. It will examine if scholarship or government education subsidies will reduce the level of drop out among student  of tertiary institution in Nigeria.This study is therefore delimited to Kaduna State University in Kaduna.


H0: The extent of Tuition Fee increase in public universities is Low.

H0: Increase in Tuition fees does not have any significant effect on  Drop out of Student in Tertiary institution.


The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Tuition Fee: Tuition Fees are fees charged by education institutions for instruction or other services. Tuition fees are the money that you pay to be taught, especially in a college or university.

Tertiary Institution: tertiary institution means a university or other tertiary education provider recognized by the Employer which offers Degrees, Diplomas or teacher education courses.

Drop Out: School dropout can defined as leaving education without obtaining a minimal credential or completing  the academic year required by course of study

Abseentism: Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from a duty, or obligation without good reason. Generally, absenteeism is unplanned absences. Absenteeism has been viewed as an indicator of poor individual performance.



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