PNG university semester suspended

8:19 pm on 24 May 2016

Students at the University of PNG in Port Moresby have been told to vacate the campus within 48 hours after semester one was suspended for an indefinite period.

The UPNG vice-chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann announced this in front of the students this afternoon at the university's Forum Square.

The suspension is to take immediate effect as of today.

This comes amid ongoing boycotts of classes at UPNG by the main student body as part of their call for the country's prime minister Peter O'Neill to stand aside to face questioning over an alleged fraud case.

The students last week petitioned Mr O'Neill, threatening a mass withdrawal from their courses if he didn't meet their demand, however the prime minister has responded that he had no intention of doing so.

The students have now been told by the UPNG vice-chancellor to vacate the campus within 48 hours; and that support amenities for students would also cease within 48 hours.

Dr Mann told the students that this was the best way forward and there would be a reorganisation of semester one so that semester two would not be compromised.

Papua New Guinea university students.

Papua New Guinea university students. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

PNG Loop reports that the president of the student representative council at UPNG, Kenneth Rapa reportedly demanded that all their airfares must be covered and their semester fees refunded before students would vacate the campus.

The message from the UPNG management doesn't appear to have affected students' preparations for mass withdrawal.

Earlier, the Vice President of the student representatives council at the University of PNG, Arthur Amos, said students across the country remained united in their cause.

"The University of Papua New Guinea, Unitech in Lae, The University of Goroka plus the Vudal University in East New Britain we are still fighting this fight and we are not going to back down," he said.

"Our demand for a mass withdrawal is still going to happen. And now right now we are sending students from the respective provinces to their own provinces to do awareness about the current economic crisis that the country is facing and the continuous abuse of the prime minister's office."

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