Fees raised to ‘fund operation’

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By GLENDA AWIKIAK
THE University of PNG is increasing the compulsory fees for students this year to fund its operation because the Government has not paid funds it had promised since 2016, an official says.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann, pictured, said it was necessary to increase the compulsory fees to keep the university operations going.
“A lot of money that the Government owes is to help us continue providing quality education so that the students can complete their courses,” he said.
He said “all appropriate documents and submissions relating to the funding of UPNG in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are with appropriate authorities including the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology”.
UPNG public relations and event management director Jim Robins had earlier said the Government had promised to pay K12 million to UPNG in 2016 during the students’ protest. “However UPNG received only about K2 million.”
Last year, when the University Council wanted the fees increased to K7,500, he said the Government requested that the decision be reviewed.
“We complied with the request from the Government to revert to the 2017 compulsory fee of K2,939 on the condition that the Government would pay UPNG K17 million. But we have never received that,” he said.
Robins clarified that the K7,500 compulsory fee was to have been “done over four years”.
Robins said the 2019 increase was “marginal” – and the first time UPNG was increasing the compulsory fee since 2014. For the Waigani campus and the Taurama Health Science at UPNG, the compulsory fee has gone up to K4,242 from K2,939 last year.
For the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) at Taurama and the Nursing School, the compulsory fee is K4,896 from K2,939 last year.
All other fees such as for accommodation remain the same.
Classes at UPNG are expected to start on Feb 8.

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