By CHARLES MOI
STUDENTS attending the University of PNG this year can expect a 30 per cent hike in “compulsory fees”, according to an official.
Public relations and event management director Jim Robins, describing the increase as “marginal” said it was 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 at Taurama, the compulsory fee is now K4,896, up from K2,939 last year.
All other fees such as for accommodation remain the same.
“Post-graduate fees and accommodation fees are the same as 2018 even though we have got all of these new taxes coming in which is going to force up the cost of providing meals, electricity, water and sewage, and food from the caterers,” he said.
Classes at UPNG are expected to start on Feb 8.
Robins said the increase in fees was necessary to help the university operate. Last year the University Council wanted the fees increased to K7500. But it complied with a request from the Government to revert to the 2017 compulsory fee of K2939.
He said the condition was that the Government was to pay UPNG K17 million.
“But we never received that,” Robins said.
Robins also said that K12 million promised by the Government during the students’ protest in 2016 was yet to be fully paid. UPNG received only about K2 million.
“There is a lot of money that the Government owes us. These funds will help us continue providing quality education so that the students can complete their courses,” he said.
Robins also clarified that the proposed K7500 compulsory fee for last year was to have been “done over four years”.
Meanwhile, students from Morobe are calling on the Government to decrease the compulsory fees at tertiary institutions as most parents will not be able to afford them.
Chairman of Morobe Tertiary Students Union Jonathan Mambere said the increase in fees would affect a lot of students. “For tertiary institutions such as the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and the University of Technology (Unitech), the tuition fees have increased,” he said.
“For Unitech, the compulsory fee for continuing self-sponsored non-residential students was increased by 10 per cent. For UPNG, it was K2939 last year, now it is K4242 across the board.
“Some parents, especially the unemployed and low-income earners, will not be able to keep up with the increase.”
By CHARLES MOI