Mixed messages are reported from the Papua New Guinea government as to whether it will pick up the cost of transporting students back to their homes from the University of PNG.
The University's first semester has been suspended after protesting students boycotted classes for a month while demanding Prime Minister Peter O'Neill step down to face corruption allegations.
The University has set a deadline of three o'clock Thursday afternoon for students to vacate its two Port Moresby campuses including about 2,400 students staying in university accommodation.
A leader of the student boycott, Hercules Jim, said students would not back down even in the face of the police, who the University said it would ask to evict students if they did not leave the campuses.
Mr Jim decried the eviction plan as cruel, as many of the University's roughly 5,000 students had no way of getting home to their provinces and would be destitute on the streets of Port Moresby.
"The students have their belongings with them in their rooms. You cannot just send students to the streets," he said.
"The majority of students live on the campus and are from other provinces in the country. It is impossible to get five thousand students off the campus without providing [plane] tickets and accommodation for them off the campus."
The Minister of Higher Education, Malakai Tabar, told Radio New Zealand International on Wednesday that the government would not pay transport costs to send the students home.
"We don't have any money to send anybody home. If they want to go home, they go home on their own," he said.
A story later appeared on the website PNG Today, however, in which Mr Tabar was quoted as saying his department would facilitate one-way tickets for students.
"If we give them tickets to go home, that is their final ticket for the whole year.... they will have to find their own ticket to come back."
The University's Public Relations Manager, James Robins, said students from Central Province and the Capital District could easily go back to their villages.
He said students from outside of those areas on HECAS and TESAS scholarships already had return airfares which they could use to get home.
"Whether the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology will give them another ticket to come back, becomes a different ball game."
As for non-scholarships students, Mr Robins said most had support networks or "wantoks" in Port Moresby.
"Many of those people who are from other provinces in the Highlands and that, they have wantoks here in the capital city that they regularly go and stay with on weekends so it's not going to be as dramatic as some of the students from the Highlands may make out."
"Some of them come from Solomon Islands and we're in negotiations with the High Commissioner as to how we can handle that," Mr Robins said.