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UPNG students begin paying outstanding TESAS fees
Students at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) have started paying the outstanding Tertiary Education Study Assistance Scheme (TESAS) component of their school fees for the 2016 academic year.
The UPNG administration had charged the students despite an assurance by Secretary for the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) Professor David Kavanamur that the Government would pay the K2.2 million outstanding TESAS component of the school fees.
A university source said that fourth-year students who had over payments in their accounts had already paid their outstanding TESAS component of the school fees.
“Those who had overpayments in their accounts, had their outstanding TESAS component automatically deducted from their accounts; without the students’ permission, they just went ahead and removed the money to cover for the students’ outstanding TESAS component,” the source said.
Fourth-year students said they were turned away at the accounts section for outstanding fees and those students who had over payments in their accounts were automatically charged and the outstanding amount removed from their overpayments.
Higher Education Minister Francis Marus said the university was an autonomous body that was free to make its own decisions.
“We don’t dictate to them what to do, we make policies only and have no say in what the University does,” Marus said.
“So I am not able to tell the university that they must not penalise students, I can only assure the university that we will pay the outstanding Tesas component, and ask them not to penalise the students.”
He said the Government was aware of the funding situation and had directed the Treasury Department to give the allocated funds to DHERST to pay the outstanding TESAS components. The UPNG administration could not be reached for comments yesterday.
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