20 Jul 2005

PNG university says police presence will deter troublemakers

8:34 pm on 20 July 2005

Authorities at PNG's biggest university say the police presence on campus will deter troublemakers who've been chasing people away from classes.

The vice-chancellor of the Port Moresby-based University of PNG says a core of students who led violent protests against him last week, are the ones who stand to lose from his new grading policy.

Professor Les Eastcott says these students are also responsible for bullying others into staying away from class.

"There were a group of 50 students who were harassing them for attending. But we believe that is going to stop fairly quick-smart, and students are then being left to make up their own mind as to whether or not they attend class; and, of course, if they don't attend class, we're also saying to them, there are consequences to that decision that you accept."

Professor Eastcott says the academic year is continuing and he's confident class numbers will be back to normal by the end of this week.

A meeting of the university council on Tuesday resolved that the academic year must continue.