UPNG Senate will decide whether or not to terminate semester

The University of Papua New Guinea’s academic senate will decide whether or not to terminate the 2016 academic semester, or year, next week.

In a circular released last Friday, vice-chancellor Professor Mellam said: “If students absent themselves for more than two weeks then their continuation… becomes untenable after Friday, May 13, 2016.”

The students haven’t been to class for two weeks now. Since last Monday they have been boycotting classes, calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to step aside and be investigated.

Speaking to Loop PNG yesterday, Mellam said: “The senate is the body that looks at academic governance of the University of Papua New Guinea, or for that matter, any other universities.

“They look at standards and quality and if senate, in its wisdom, feels that the academic programs are compromised, then that’s a matter for the senate to decide.”

Mellam said the senate will preside over the issue and decide the next course of action.

“I suspect they will probably meet on Monday again and have a look at that,” he stated.

The students, however, have refused to back down.

A student, who did not want to be named, told Loop: “Our degree would be worthless in a dying economy.

“We’re sacrificing our education to secure a better future. We’re fighting for our people back home.

“What would be the use of that degree if there are no jobs and you find yourself working in the garden?”

Carmella Gware