The University of Liberia – the nation’s highest institution of learning may officially open its doors to students, especially graduate school beginning May 2. The commencement of the new semester comes in the wake of the continuing tuition crisis in which the university and students are engulfed.
The intervention of the Legislature following a student protest at the Capitol a few weeks ago could neither accelerate efforts in resolving the matter, while a recently launched fund-drive under the auspices of the UL Alumni Association to rescue the situation is yet to find a common ground, as the UL administration remains conspicuously silent on the commencement of the next academic semester of the undergraduate students.
Whatever the situation may be, we had thought that by now a balance would have been struck, with the involvement of all stakeholders, including the Legislature, for the general commencement of classes for
the next academic semester.
Nut to begin classes for only the graduate school at the cost of US$75.00 per credit hour is not only unfair and exploitative, but an attempt to also prevent many students of the graduate program from registering.
One would even wonder as to why the UL Administration will choose to open the graduate program now, when the Government of Liberia, through the Legislature, is concluding efforts for more and increased
budgetary support to the University of Liberia to avert further crisis. Why is the administration rushing the ongoing registration of students of the graduate school knowing very well that replenishing additional payments would be extremely difficult, especially when the government’s financial intervention is manifested?
While the financial situation confronting the University of Liberia may be of serious concern to many well-meaning Liberia, some of its decisions may also be very problematic being cognizant of the unacceptable conditions under which students of the graduate school undergo their programs, especially during the evening hours.
Unscreened windows, very poor ventilation (no air conditional or ceiling fans), as well as poor seating (not suitable chairs also used by undergraduate students), among others, indeed, constitute the very poor environment under which very responsible students learn – a situation to which the UL Administration remains very insensitive.
Whether or not the current increment from US$55.00 to US$75.00 will actually address the aforementioned conditions of students of the graduate program remains uncertain. Whatever may have influenced the decision to commence class on May 2 in the absence of a common ground at the UL, especially the graduate school should have been delayed until the actualization of the government’s intervention.