UPNG students complain about 'unnecessary fees'

1:50 pm on 19 April 2018

Students hit by a near doubling of tuition fees at the University of Papua New Guinea are complaining about the cost of graduation.

University of Papua New Guinea

Photo: Supplied/ Melvin Levongo

As well as having to pay an annual $US8 (25 kina) fee for the Student Representative Council that was abolished in 2016, they said $US300 graduation costs were exorbitant.

Graduating student Charity Daniel said paying US$120 to rent a gown on top of the $US180 graduation fee was too much.

"It's really frustrating you know. After four years our parents paid our school fees and for he graduation we have to pay another fee again just to get the degree and it's so frustrating for the parents, especially when most of out parents come from a village it's really a struggle for the parents to pay."

Final year science student from the Highlands Alphonse Alex said students were paying the $US8 (25 kina) without having a student council or representative on the university's board.

"The decisions making in the school board, there's no representative for students inside, so it's biased. They make the decisions and the student doesn't have any say - since 2016 on that issue. [In] 2017 and this year 2018 we are still paying 25 kina."

Alphonse Alex and 1200 other students will soon graduate from the University of Papua New Guinea which nearly doubled its tuition fees this year.

The council was abolished after it led a weeks-long class boycott against Prime Minister Peter O'Neil that resulted in the academic year being cancelled.

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