Liberia: Senate Weighs In on Impact of Pres. Weah’s Free Tertiary Education on the Universities


Monrovia – Some members of the Liberian Senate have given their personal opinions on the way they see President George Weah announcement of free tuition at the University of Liberia and other public universities around the country.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

One Senator who spoke strongly about the President’s free tuition pronouncement is Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County who also serves as chairman on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. According to him, to provide 100% tuition free for students of public universities, is a waste and misuse of national resources.

Sherman said: “If you use our money to go school and you are not taking it as a loan, then you are willing to serve the country for some years as payback, anything outside of that I think is an abuse and misuse of our resources.”

In recommendation, Sherman wants the Senate Education Committee to formulate a policy that would accommodate the President’s declare free tuition that will ensure that people or students benefiting from the service provide service to country in return.

For his part, Senator Gble-Gbo Brown requested the Committee on Education to extend its hearing that would include other universities. “We need to know the impact, we need to know how many universities have been impacted by the President’s proclamation.” 

Senator Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County urged his colleagues not to make discussions surrounding the Education Committee’s report a political debate but look at the effect it has on various constituencies. “I must admit this announcement is good for our constituencies, but what we need to do now is get to the ministry of finance to have government respond to the pronouncement.”

President George Weah in May this year declared that all undergraduate students in public universities across the country will enjoy free tuition.

“Today, I’m excited to announce that I have declared the University of Liberia and all other public universities in Liberia tuition free for all undergraduates,” Pres. Weah declared.

He made the declaration before students of the University of Liberia at the Capitol Hill campus. The announcement was met with loud cheers and applause. 

Liberia currently has four public universities.

Students had protested against fee hikes accusing the UL administration of unilaterally making such decisions. The students eventually had the audience of the President who promised to look into the issue.

It was at the same meeting that Weah announced that he will visit the school, a promise he kept and during which he disclosed the news. Many economic watchers are now waiting to see the costing mechanism and other fine details of the program.