UPNG registrar first ‘victim’ of drastic campus action over fees hike

University of Papua New Guinea ... furore over fees. Image: UPNG

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

The University of Papua New Guinea registrar Dr Peter Petsul has become the first victim of the new university council, reports the PNG Post-Courier.

Dr Petsul was suspended on Monday on full pay for 14 days by new Chancellor Jeffery Kennedy at the country’s national university.

READ MORE: Unions slam ‘farcical’ appointment of chancellor, VC

In sidelining the registrar, Kennedy wrote:

“Dr Petsul has been suspended for 14 days starting on 11th February 2019.

“During this period, he is given an opportunity to show cause and respond to the council why drastic actions should not be taken against him.”

Dr Petsul was sidelined after failing to effect a council decision to rescind a decision by the former council to increase school tuition and boarding fees.

Kennedy has instructed the acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Kenneth Sumbuk to appoint an acting registrar to run the administration.

In early January, RNZ Pacific reported that most UPNG students faced a massive 29 percent hike in their fees this year.

Some degree courses, such as medicine and nursing, faced even bigger increases.

At the time, UPNG’s public relations director James Robins said other expenses, such as accommodation, were unchanged.

But Robins said this compulsory fee, along with the annual government budget allocation, was needed to cover basic costs so students can complete their programmes.

Last month, the PNG Trade Union Congress slammed the appointments of Jeffrey Kennedy as chancellor and Dr Sumbuk as vice-chancellor in an ongoing controversy over the university’s governance.

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