The Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia on Wednesday issued a press statement rejecting tuition increment announced by the university administration.
SUP declared that it will be a violation of the fiscal policy of the University should the increment take effect in the second semester of the academic year.
SUP chairman Jerome D. Dangbuah said 95% of the students attending the state owned university are unemployed. “Therefore, 85% of the students depend on scholarships,” he said, “and any increment will cause many of them to drop out of school.”
He said presently University of Liberia students are confronted with the lack of internet facilities, transportation, inadequate infrastructure and the absence of other basic social services that the administration must tackle before increasing tuition.
According him, students over the years have paid for ID cards, computer literacy, t-shirts and other services that the administration has not been able to provide.
Dangbuah reminded the administration that the University of Liberia was created by a Legislative Act which made it not for profit making.
He said University of Liberia has the challenge to train more manpower for the various disciplines to improve the living standard of Liberians.
Dangbuah meanwhile called on the National Legislature to increase the state-owned university’s fiscal budgetary appropriation from US$15.1 million to US$ 29 million.
On the administration’s decision to increase tuition, he said SUP, representing the students, was not part of consultations that led to the decision to increase tuition.
Dangbuah explained that already many students are finding it difficult to pay their tuition at the regular LD$175 per credit hour.
He called on UL students to remain calm as efforts are underway to petition the National Legislature with their concerns for redress.
It may be recalled that last Tuesday the UL Administration announced tuition increase from LD$175.00 per credit hour to USD$4 for undergraduate programs and US$55 to USD$75 for the Master’s degree program.
Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, who is the chair person of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the administration’s decision.
She said if the University of Liberia must be on par with other universities in Africa, then money is needed.