Student Democratic Alliance (STUDA), a campus-based student political organization at the University of Liberia (UL), has expressed outrage over the recent decision of the UL Administration to increase tuition from L$175 to US$5 per credit, or its equivalent of L$440 at the present L$88 exchange rate.
UL Administration also further announced an increment in transportation fare from L$15 to L$50.
STUDA, represented by its chair, C. Tonia Fahnbulleh and student Emerson S.L. Bordolo, in a statement, described the decision as “unofficial” since it was yet to be sanctioned by UL President, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, or the vice president for UL Relations, Norris Tweah.
Moreover, the students said the decision to increase the tuition is “untimely and unprecedented in that it has never happened in the history of academia in the state-run university.”
The students have meanwhile established that the 151 percent increment in tuition fees, and the 333 percent increment in transportation fare are “diametrically impossible and are deviltry to the extreme” and as such, the decision would “suffer an unbending and unwavering intellectual engagement.”
“We resent and denounce this decision in the strongest terms in that it is injudicious and unwarranted at this critical juncture of post Ebola Liberia, where the nation’s economy suffers a serious setback,” the students said in a statement, a copy of which is with this newspaper.
Moreover, the students said, there are no substantive evidence and convincing tangibles of the past increment starting from L$100 to L$175; a gradual increment which served as “motivational factors for accepting another increment.”
According to the students, they are not against increments in tuition and fees especially if done on a gradual scale, “because we are cognizant of the dynamism of life and the economic reality of the day, but what is more important is to provide an ideal learning environment and quality education since that is the mission of the university.”
They believe that if the decision to increase tuition at this time becomes official, it will create “mayhem,” and if not meticulously handled it could undermine the country’s peace, especially the closure of the university as the next alternative for the UL Administration.