The meeting was basically to discuss two issues:
(a) The rationale of their decision,
(b) How the 2016 academic can be salvaged.
Lupari who met with UPNG officials on Wednesday July 6, said: “From the outset I made it absolutely clear that the Government’s position has not changed.
“The Government wants to see the continuation of the 2016 Academic year and it is prepared to supply the necessary financial resources that are required for this.
“What has been happening in the last nine weeks is regrettable. We can’t change that. What is important now is the education of our students. This must be central to any decision we make now and tomorrow.
“If we do not work together and still dwell on our differences, we will be depriving our children from receiving their education and hence country will suffer greatly in the long run.
“For this, we must work together. Everybody, the Government, the Opposition, the University Council and every members of our civil society must work together to find a peaceful and workable solution,” Lupari said.
He was informed that the Decision to cancel 2016 academic and learning activities was not made lightly.
All aspects including academic standards and integrity were considered thoroughly by Senate, an independent body in charge of academic program before making this decision.
And to salvage the 2016 Academic year with the remaining months would not practically possible.
They said the environment and mind setting at the University is not conducive for the continuation of the academic year.
If they do, it will undermine the standard and credibility of the academic teaching and learning.
The University Council will work closely with the Senate in the coming weeks to develop 2017 Academic year to cater for 2016 academic:
(a) First year students for 2016 are not affected. They will continue their studies in 2017 together with the 2017 Intakes.
(b) Lahara courses will be organized during holiday period, which will allow for final year students to complete their studies.
(c) Master’s programme will continue at the campuses for non-resident students.
Lupari said: “Whilst we appreciate and understands the basis of their decision, I have asked them to see if they can review their decision.
“We still have six months left in the year. These months can be utilised to salvage some part of the 2016 Academic year. I know it will be extremely difficult but we have to try for the sake of our children.
“The Government stands ready to assist in whatever it can to salvage 2016 Academic year,” Lupari added.