A Renewed Position on UL Tuition Crisis – Sustaining the Decision and Improving Basic Social Services

In the wake of the opposition to tuition increment at the State-run University of Liberia – the nation’s highest institution of learning, the UL authorities remain unwavering and determined to sustain the

decision.

Other than the US$2.05 per credit, under-graduate students of the university will, as of the beginning of Semester Two 2015/2016, pay US$4.00 per credit, while students of the graduate school pay US$75.00
per credit from the previous US$55.00.

The main attributing factor is the inability of the Government of Liberia to sustain the institution through adequate budgetary funding so as to create the enabling learning environment for the students, including the restoration of internet facilities, transportation, inadequate infrastructure and other basic social services.

Other than the absence of the aforementioned on all of the campuses of the University of Liberia, another argument raised by the leaderships of a few campus-based pressure groups, including the Student Unification Party or SUP, is the inability of the student majority to afford the current cost (US$4.00) per credit, as well as the threat of losing sponsorships for those on scholarships.

Exacerbating the already politically charged UL situation, is the intervention of Liberia’s main opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC that has described the decision to increase the fees as ‘irresponsible’ on the part of the UL Administration.

Despite being well knowledgeable of numerous problems confronting the university, as well as attempts by the administration to overcome them, through constructive engagements with the Executive and

Legislative Branches of Government, the SUP, ULSU and CDC leaderships seem not to want to understand the reason(s) behind such fiscal policy. 

The irony of ‘this whole thing’ is that while raining invectives on and denigrating the UL Authorities and Board of Trustees for the decision, the students and CDC are, at the same time, blaming the

Government of Liberia for the unfavorable situation at its own school.

And if the root cause of the problems at the University of Liberia is the government’s inability to be adequately supportive, why can’t they only deal with the latter.

If and only if they are very much concerned about the well-being of students of the university, SUP, ULSU and CDC must put themselves in a soberly civilized position to constructively engage the Executive
Mansion headed by the President of Liberia, as well as the Legislature headed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate to discuss the plight of the
students and university at large, other than engaging in the ongoing negative and unrewarding publicity against the UL Administration and Board.

If the administration of the university should decide to keep the tuition as they think and not to open the UL for Semester Two due to the current financial crisis with which it is confronted until “things
are financially ripe”, what would they (SUP, ULSU and CDC) do? They would have no reasonable answer, but to remain very un-necessarily noisy and unrefined all over the place.

For now, they must be very supportive of the current decision of the UL Administration, while a few basic social services, including internet, library and sanitary facilities are put in place on the basis of the increment, until the budget of the institution is augmented to meet its entire demands as a full-fledge State-owneduniversity.

 

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