COTE D'IVOIRE: Students refuse to pay increased fees

Angry students at the University of Cocody's faculty of health sciences are refusing to pay vastly increased fees. Members of the national students' union for health sciences said they would pay no more than the old rate of 6,000 CFA francs (US$12), reported Fraternité Matin of Abidjan. The university authorities are demanding 50,000 CFA francs.

At a meeting attended by several hundred students from the faculty, the union's general secretary Nando Serges said the moment for such an increase was inopportune, given the crisis currently afflicting the country. "The Ivorian population is getting poorer as days go by. Even the state. As proof, our grants for the university year 2007-2008 haven't been paid yet," said Serges.

He protested that the increase demanded was much too high. "Even 12,000 CFA francs, a 100% rise, we wouldn't accept to pay. Even more so 50,000 francs," he said.

Serges hoped the country's head of state would intervene urgently, reported Fraternité Matin, or the school risked being paralysed this year. Meanwhile the union asked students to abstain from enrolling.

Read full story here