By Janjay F. Campbell
District #8 representative, Acarous Moses Gray says the increment in tuition at the University of Liberia (UL) needs to be addressed because the increment in tuition is insignificant to the operation of the school.
Explaining the issue yesterday to his colleagues in session, Representative Gray said the leadership of the legislature should meet the executive to discuss the matter before most of the students who cannot afford the tuition drop out of school.
He stated that the Committee on Ways, Means and Finance should look into the matter and see how best they can address the problem because the semester is imminent and that most of the students will undoubtedly not be able to enroll this semester.
At the same time, Representative Eugene Fallah Kparkar disclosed that at the legislature they represent their various counties and those students at the University come from the fifteen counties in Liberia. He explained that as leaders they have to address the issue and assist those students who cannot afford the tuition. He mentioned that the University of Liberia’s fees should not be increased so as to enable those who cannot afford private universities’ tuition enroll in the nation’s highest learning institution.
Last month, the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia finally arrived at a unanimous decision to increase tuition at the only state-run university in the country. In a one-page statement containing its official pronouncement, the acting Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, informed the public yesterday that the majority Board members’ decision reached is to increase tuition at all levels of the university’s program being offered except the Medical and Pharmacy Schools.
Commencing second semester, cost per credit hour for the undergraduate increases from US$ 2.05 to US$ 4.00 while for the graduate and professional schools, increment will be from US$ 55.00 to US$ 75.00 respectively.
The Board of Trustees said its decision was based on several consultations emanating from President Ellen Sirleaf, the student leaderships and the UL administration; from which the Board has further resolved that adjustments be made in the University’s budget while it hunts for extra funds for the University’s operations.
Meanwhile, the Board has directed revenues projected towards improving five critical areas of the university which include reduction of annual budget deficits, libraries, and maintenance of ICT infrastructures including the internet as well as deferred maintenance of critical infrastructures such as buildings, faculty, staff and student development.