UPNG abandons 2016 academic year, suspends student body

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Story and video by Serah Aupong in Port Moresby

The University of Papua New Guinea Council has suspended the 2016 Academic Year.

The announcement of the decision was made today by UPNG acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann following more than six weeks of protest and boycotts over the prime ministership of Peter O’Neill.

Other decisions taken by the UPNG Council include the suspension of the Student Representative Council (SRC), rendering it ineffective; and for students to leave the campus by this Saturday.

The decision has raised many questions regarding who will cover the costs of transporting students back to their home provinces.

UPNG Council said that it did not deal with the sponsorship of students, and their transportation home remains the prerogative of student sponsors.

EMTV News spoke to several first year students, who were unsure of their future at UPNG.

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However, the UPNG Council has assured students that there is a process underway to ensure that first year students this year would not be pushed out by the new UPNG intake in 2017.

With regard to tuition fees for the year, the UPNG Council advised that funding for the first semester had already been used up following the beginning of the boycott, and the viability of refunds for the second semester of this year was currently under discussion.

Serah Aupong is an EMTV News reporter.

Students in the UPNG Forum with a message for Prime Minister Peter O'Neill at the height of the campus protests. Image: EMTV News
Students in the UPNG Forum with a message for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the height of the campus protests. Image: EMTV News
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