DHERST responds to UPNG students’ concerns

Continuing students from the University of Papua New Guinea are flagging the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology to look into the matter of additional fees imposed by the university.

The additional fees are to compensate for the outstanding payments for Tertiary Education Student Assistance Scheme (TESAS) scholarships for semester 2 of 2017.

Students took to social media to air their grievances regarding the UPNG administration’s decision for students and their parents to foot 50 percent of the 2017 outstanding payments for TESAS scholarship. This is on top of the 2018 compulsory tuition and lodging and accommodation fees.

Students reached out to this newsroom outlining the 2018 registration process.

It has been reported that only the first quota of TESAS scholarship payment for 2017, semester one, was paid while the payment for the second semester was not delivered by the government.

This has now been forwarded to this year’s school fees in which students are required by the school administration to fully meet before they register.

This means a student on HECAS would pay up to K11,000 – inclusive of boarding and lodging, compulsory fees and the additional fees for 2017 semester 2 TESAS scholarship payments.

In an interview with this newsroom in December 2017, Secretary for Higher Education, Fr Jan Czuba, confirmed that DHERST owed colleges and universities K39 million in outstanding payments for TESAS scholarships for semester 2 of 2017.

Fr Jan also confirmed the government issued a warrant and committed funding to DHERST to settle these outstanding payments by January 2018.

In a phone interview today, Fr Jan said parents are not to foot any additional fees that are supposed to be paid by the government.

He is optimistic that the Higher Education Department will receive the government allocated K20 million from Finance Department this week and settle the outstanding 2017 semester 2 TESAS scholarship payments.

Carolyn Ure
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