PNG govt asks university to reconsider decision to end classes

2:31 pm on 7 July 2016

The Papua New Guinea government has asked University of Papua New Guinea officials to review the decision to end classes for the year.

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Photo: Copyright: frannyanne / 123RF Stock Photo

The council of the University of PNG terminated studies for the remainder of 2016 due to the disruption caused by its students' two-month class boycott and subsequent violence.

The students were protesting over Mr O'Neill's refusal to step down to face fraud allegations.

Chief Secretary to the Papua New Guinea Government Isaac Lupari met with university officials this week in efforts to keep the institutions open for the rest of the year.

He says the government wants to see the academic year continue and it is prepared to provide the funding required.

UPNG students gather on campus.

UPNG students gather on campus. Photo: UPNG4PNG

He says the meeting with the University's Chancellor and Vice Chancellor was basically to discuss the rationale of their decision, and how the 2016 academic can be salvaged.

Mr Lupari said while he understood the basis of their decision, he had asked them to see if they could review it.

He says the university told him the decision to cancel was not made lightly and the environment and mindset at the university was not conducive to continue studies.

"What has been happened in the last nine weeks is regrettable. We can't change that," he said.

He says he was told all aspects including academic standards and integrity were considered thoroughly by an independent body in charge of the academic programme before the decision was made.

Mr Lupari said university officials said that to salvage the 2016 academic year would not be possible.

Mr Isaac said while he understood the basis of their decision, he had asked them to see if they could review their decision.

"We still have six months left in the year. These months can be utilised to salvage some part of the 2016 Academic year," he said.