THE IMPACT OF TUITION FEES ON STUDENTS’ ENROLLMENT
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1.1 Background of the Study
Over the course of the past few decades, the cost of the higher education at public colleges and universities has risen rapidly. Adjusting for the availability of state and federal financial aid, growth in the cost of higher education has outpaced inflation and even health care. The rise in tuition has been driven by a number of factors, including a pervasive trend in the use of cost offsetting in public higher education (John Stone, 2004), and real and even nominal declines in appropriations due to state revenue short falls (Koshal & Koshal, 2000; Rizzoo & Ehrenberg, 2003).
In Nigeria, the federal universities still maintain a ‘no tuition fees’ policy. However, the state and private universities charge tuition fees which have increased tremendously in recent times. Due to limited available capacity and resources at the disposal of the institutions and government the federal universities have not been able to admit all qualified students. A substantial percentage of these students are admitted into the universities which charge tuition fess/other charges. This is because these institutions operate in an economy characterized by high inflation rates and are profit oriented. The resultant effect has been a decline in university enrolment by poor households. According to Johnstone (2007) and Sanyal and Martins (2006). The tuition fee aspect of the educational financing reforms amongst others on the need to improve public finances as placed a significant pressure on household finance through increase in out-of-pocket expenditure and created financial barriers among households. Developing a better qualified and employable individual by running programs that provides students with tools for entering the workplace ensuring demonstrate capacity for innovation and technology in the institutions for facility learning (Federal Ministry of Education, 2012). As a result, this study also wants examine the cause of tuition fees on student’s enrolments in Nigerian universities. It will help a great deal for students to proffer solutions that will reduce the effects of tuition fees on student’s enrolments in Al-Hikmah University Ilorin, Kwara State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Critics of the tuition fees enrolment of students has increased in the demand for and enrolment in university education. According to Aina, Oyetakin and Oshun (2009), the monumental increase in student enrollment at the primary and secondary levels of education have consequently put a lot of economic, political and social pressure on the tertiary education level with the resultant financial consequences for student’s government and economy generally.
In the same vein, studies in the socio-economic background of households in over 70% are poor and on 29% of families can live on one dollar (N157.00) or above a day, which implies that the social-economic hardship experience by the parents deprives any of access to the university education as many cannot afford to pay their children’s school fees thereby not addressing the issue of access and equity. (Ukertor, 2010; Ehiametalor, 2005 and Williams 2004), also in the area of human development, Nigeria is ranked 168th in the world (Roa, 2008).
However, Nwangwu (2001) states that when parents and their children exercise their right to choose the types of higher education to pursue, it should be understood that higher education is not free or universal or compulsory, they have the duty to provide financial support for such students.
1.3 Research Questions
The foregoing has elicited a number of questions in terms of tuition fees on student’s enrolment:
- What is the trend of students enrollment and tuition fees in Al-hikmah University?
- What are the effect of increase in tuition fees on student enrolment in Al-Hikmah University?
- What is the role government playing in reducing the tuition fees of such Universities?
- To what extent do tuition fees determine/affect student’s enrolment.
- Objective of the Study
The major objective of this study is to examine the impact of tuition fees on students’ enrollment in Al-Hikmah University.
The Specific Objectives are:
- To examine the trend of students enrollment and tuition fees in Al-Hikmah University
- Examine the effect of increase tuition fees/school charges on the student enrolment.
- To estimate the price elasticity of the tuition fees on student’s enrollment in Al-Hikmah University.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: Increase tuition fees have no significant impact on students’ enrolment: Al-Hikmah University.
Ho: Increase tuition fees has significant effect on student’s enrolment: Al-Hikmah University
1.6 justification of the study
This study will be of great importance to all academic institutions and Al-hikmah University in particular, in implementing appropriate students’ enrollment strategies through a better understanding of the sensitivity of University education demand. Academic leaders need to understand the responsiveness of demand to tuition fees in their institutions to help them in planning and implementing correct enrolment strategies.
Another motivation for this study is the dependence of tuition revenue on enrollment. There is need to understand the importance of the demand for higher education when proposing or implementing a policy to increase tuition fees. Also, this study can help higher education decision makers in managing unexpected effects of soaring tuition fees, and in managing enrolment and tuition revenues.
Therefore, considering the importance of tuition elasticity of demand is essential in managing enrolment in academic institutions. It could be argued that using the concept of elasticity is useful in evaluating enrolment policies. In fact, elasticity is an important evaluation tool that may be used by government and academic decision makers.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of Study
This study shall involve and strictly confine itself to the economics of tuition fees and student’s enrolment in Al-Hikmah University Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. This study sought to determine the effect of tuition fees on student’s enrollment between 2009 and 2017.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This study shall be divided into five chapters. This study commences with the introduction of the topic. Chapter two contains the literature review which includes its conceptual framework, theoretical framework and the sources of external debt. The research methodology is outlined in chapter three while chapter four represents and analyzes the data as well as the interpretation of the findings. Chapter five, which is the last chapter, concludes and recommends.
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