25 Apr 2013

PNG university unrest over lack of funding

7:17 pm on 25 April 2013

Papua New Guinea's Office for Higher Education says there will be continuing unrest in the country's universities unless the government increases funding in real terms.

The Office's director general, Professor David Kavanamur, says a lack of money is behind this week's protest by students at the University of Goroka.

Students had threatened a mass withdrawal of classes but have since presented a 51-point petition, which includes demands for the vice chancellor to resign, for anti-corruption officials to assess the institution, improved student representation and cuts to fees.

Professor Kavanavamur says his office will press the government to improve funding otherwise the problems will get worse.

"The Office of Higher Education is actually anticipating that. Mainly because there has been a decline in the real value of government expenditure on university education in Papua New Guinea and we have six universities here and that is a challenge for us to manage."