2 Aug 2005

PNG students offered trauma counselling after campus clashes

3:29 pm on 2 August 2005

The director general of Papua New Guinea's Office of Higher Education, William Targis, says university students are being offered counselling for trauma suffered because of the student protests.

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea had been involved in violent clashes in recent weeks after disagreeing with the way the grade point average or GPA was being applied by the university administration.

The University's Vice Chancellor, Professor Les Eastcott, has now stepped aside to allow for an independent investigation into the standoff.

And Mr Targis says students have promised the Minister of Higher Education that there will be no more unrest.

"They gave him the assurance. And that there would be no further interruptions to the academic programme until possibly the end of November or early December. The university council has extended the academic programme by three weeks, to take into account the weeks lost during the unrest."

William Targis says students will be able to access free counselling services on campus, from this week.