Liberia: Sinoe University Students Union Complains Tubman University; Says It’s Still Collecting Tuition
MONROVIA – The Sinoe County University Student Union (SUSU) has written the Commission on Higher Education complaining the Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County of charging students’ fees equivalent to tuition despite President George Weah’s tuition-free declaration.
Winston Tolbert-Doe, President of the Student group said in a letter, that President Weah’s mandate is not being adhered to at Tubman University.
According to the communication, students from Sinoe and other counties at the Tubman University are facing serious financial constraints in the face of uneasy financial burdens by the president of the university. He specifically highlighted students studying or reading Science courses as those facing huge financial burdens.
“Please accept our compliments as we, at the Sinoe University Students Union (SUSU) want to inform the Commission on Higher Education that since the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah declared tuition free for all public universities in the country, the administration of our member university – the William V. S. Tubman University in Harper, Maryland has been charging the students since the date of the President’s pronouncement until now amounts ranging from US$180.00 to US$200.00 per student each academic semester,” the communication stated.
In their advocacy SUSU said, they believe that administrative procedure and constructive engagement is the best path in seeking redress to the situation at the University in Maryland County to afford students the opportunity to learn without worrying about financing their studies.
“Therefore we have decided to present the plight of our fellow students with you since your Commission is the Government’s supervisory arm of High Institutions in Liberia.
“We will appreciate were your Commission to ensure TU Administration’s compliance to the President’s mandate in the interest of the struggling students.”
In 2018, President George Weah declared the University of Liberia and all public universities tuition-free for undergraduate students in the country. He made the announcement before hundreds of cheering students at the University of Liberia’s Capitol Hill Campus in Monrovia during a planned visit to the university.
The declaration, according to the President, was to make Liberia an example to other African nations on the continent. This announcement came to many as a surprise because it follows a fee-hike protest by the students of the University of Liberia, who had met with the president at his foreign affairs offices where they complained about the 2018-19 academic year’s fees.
At that meeting, the students said a decision by the university to increase fees was not in the interest of students and complained about a contravention of the university’s policy which states that the decision to increase fees should not be unilateral but should meet the approval of the university’s board of trustees, the faculty board, student leadership and the President of Liberia.