Help students turned away


THE University of PNG and other tertiary institutes are turning away students who have applied for the Higher Education Loan Programme (Help) despite the minister responsible, Nick Kuman, telling parliament that it was available and institutions will accept students.
A fourth-year student at the school of social science and humanities, who did not want to be identified, told The National that he was not allowed to be registered under the Help programme.
“They kept sending me back and forth, till the deadline for registration,” the student said.
A second-year student said he was not accepted to register last week so he had to go and look for other means to pay for his school fees before registration closed.
“It was very disappointing because we believed that the Help programme was available but we had to struggle at the very last minute to look for funds,” he said.
Kuman told Parliament last week that they had met with almost 80 per cent of all heads of higher learning institutes at UPNG last month and “stressed that no student should be turned away in any higher education institution.” UPNG Vice-Chancellor Prof Frank Griffin told The National on Monday that the university was not turning away students pursuing loan registrations.
“There is a guarantee from the Government that the policy will be available, so students can ask for a loan form from the Department of Higher Education during registration,” Kuman said.
“However, our effort is to pay the tuition fee.”
Kuman said he would go back to Cabinet once he had the list of students who had applied to decide how much loan would be available for student.
He said the Help programme was not compulsory.