UPNG students still confused in wake of academic closure

Non-academic staff at the University of Papua New Guinea (seated) attending to students outside the main campus at UPNG's drill hall. Image: Nadia Marai/APR

By Nadia Marai in Port Moresby

Since the termination of the academic year at the University of Papua New Guinea earlier this month most students have left Waigani campus and returned to their home provinces.

Others have remained in the capital of Port Moresby to look for part-time employment to help themselves and their families with living costs as confusion still mars the academic year.

The UPNG administration has advised all 2016-registered students to re-enrol next year.

The 2016 year was cancelled after two months of protests and class boycotts by students demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who decisively won a no-confidence vote earlier this week.

A revised 2017 re-enrolment form will be made available online on the UPNG website for continuing and first year students to re-enrol, university sources said.

Currently on the ground students have been turned away at the university’s main entrance gate and have not been allowed access into the campus.

Student queries
A few of the non-academic staff and administration officers have been attending to students’ queries at the university’s drill hall.

Most students have complained about the approach by the administration to not allow students back in to complete their clearance and sort out the necessary paper work.

The students are also seeking information about re-enrolling next year as most are still confused over whether they will need to re-apply, re-enrol and what procedures they will need to follow for returning next year to continue their studies.

In contrast, the University of Technology in Lae, Morobe Province, will not close.

The university management decided to continue to see its academic year right through to December.

Classes are expected to resume on August 29.

Unitech’s chancellor, Sir Albert Nagora Bogan, and vice-chancellor, Dr Albert Schram, said in an announcement that the commencement date was a tentative one pending the approval of the academic board.

‘’With the resumption on August 29, another K8 million will be spent, which has not been budgeted for,’’ the statement said.

Unitech’s administration is adamant that classes will resume and the academic year will continue.

UPNG abandons 2016 academic year

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SOURCENadia Marai
My name is Nadia Marai and I'm from Papua New Guinea. I am a final year journalism student at the University of Papua New Guinea (2016). Due to the termination of the 2016 academic year, I hope to complete my degree programme next year in 2017. I love to write and travel. I believe in empowering young women and girls in my country to be successful in all aspects of life regardless of our cultural barriers.