USP vice-chancellor ‘must step down’, says MP

Opposition MP Mikaele Leawere is calling on an immediate inquiry into USP's decision. Image: FijiOne

Fiji’s opposition is calling on the University of the South Pacific’s vice-chancellor to step down, after USP’s decision to de-register students who have outstanding fees.

Opposition MP Mika Leawere expressed his concern with the decision which comes just before students sit their final exams.

“Taxpayers of Fiji contribute towards Fiji being the biggest financial member state contributor of the University and this draconian policy lacks any humanity or wisdom given that Fiji and many students are still recovering from the devastation of TC Winston.

“While we accept that the University is an institution of higher education and is not a charitable organisation, surely an institution of academics can empathise with their students who are already stressed with exam preparations and now are further burdened with an inhumane policy that dashes all their hard work for the semester at the 11th hour.”

‘Unanimous decision’

In an interview with Fiji Broadcasting Corporation acting vice-chancellor, Professor Richard Coll, said the decision to de-register students who have not paid all fees in full was a unanimous decision by the USP Senate.

Coll said student’s debts are now very high and accumulating every year, and the University sees it critical that this is addressed.

FBC reported students have until Friday this week to pay outstanding fees.

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