UPNG students question graduation fee

The University of Papua New Guinea’s new K600 graduation fee has caused outrage among graduating students.

They claim the university did not advise them of the graduation fee.

“It just came on the media, which shocked the students as there was no (official) circular before that,” Loop PNG was told.

Phylma Timea, a graduating student from the Journalism and Public Relations strand, says it’s unfair on them and their parents.

“We have already paid the school fee, outstanding fees, we were rushed out of our dorms and they didn’t give us a long time to do our clearance.”

She says the Council needs to justify why the K600 graduation fee is being imposed for the first time in UPNG’s history.

Other students are concerned that UPNG is asking for additional fees even though it has not reimbursed their overpayments yet.

An academic, who wishes to remain anonymous, says: “The K600 fee is a money-making scam, intended to fleech poor parents and guardians.

“The UPNG management has failed miserably to manage its finances, and is looking for ways to plug growing deficits.”

However, Acting Chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann says it’s not a scam.

“They pay their money, they graduate and they get their degree. It’s a public exchange.

“Nobody’s taking the money and running away.”
He says it is a normal university operations procedure; the fees will go towards the staging of the graduation on July 28.

“Other universities have that graduation fee while UPNG, in the last 50 years, did not. However, we are going to start come this graduation,” says Dr Mann.

(Graduating students at UPNG today – Picture courtesy of Nadia Marai)

Carmella Gware