17 Apr 2012

Mediation to calm university row in PNG

6:28 pm on 17 April 2012

The director general of the Papua New Guinea Office of Higher Education is flying to Lae to mediate between students and the Council of the University of Technology after a protest in which the Chancellor's car was burnt.

A student representative, Samson Phil, says the University Council decided last week that vice-chancellor, Dr Albert Schram, would be sacked.

Mr Phil says the Council was unhappy Dr Schram was cutting its numbers and shutting down a master's programme.

But he says the student body backs Dr Schram and wants him to stay.

The director general of the Office of Higher Education, Professor David Kavanamur, says he and the chief secretary to the government, Manusupe Zurenuoc, will mediate.

"Basically up to now the situation is under control because we have sent word that a mediating party will be sent in to negotiate between the conflicting parties."