Fr Jan’s statement follows complaints by parents and guardians that students attending the University of Papua New Guinea were made to pay full fees before registering.
The parents were told that the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has not deposited any funds into the UPNG accounts. Therefore, even though a student is on government scholarship, K16,492 has to be paid in full – K4,242 is compulsory as Admission while K12,250 for boarding and lodgment.
The institution argued that this would serve as back up in case the Government does not honour its commitment.
However, in response, Fr Jan says he has communicated to the UPNG chancellor and acting vice chancellor that students should not be charged over a Government commitment, adding the Government will pay.
“It does not make any sense to charge students then refund them later.”
Fr Jan believes it will take a few days for this information to penetrate through the system at UPNG, as it has also been reported that parents and guardians were made to abide by the new, increased fee structure when it was already announced that the 2018 fees will remain for this year – those on main campus will pay K2,939 compulsory fee, as opposed to the K4,242 set by the now disbanded council.
Sadly, this situation has caused confusion for both parents and guardians.
Fr Jan says those who have already paid over K4,000 as compulsory fee have the right to see the registrar and immediately get refunded.
(Higher Education Secretary, Fr Jan Czuba)