Cuttington University President Dr. Herman Browne, says considering continuous downward trend in government’s financial support subsidy to the university, administration has no plan to reduce fees.
CU was moved to Suakoko, Bong County in 1948 from Harper, Maryland County, on 1,500 acres of land provided by the people of Bong County to buttress government’s effort to educate its citizenry.
In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, Cuttington University received more than $1million in subsidy and the 2017/2018 national budget contains about five hundred eighty thousand United States Dollars for the university but the fees are yet alarming.
Despite these allotments, Dr. Browne told journalists that government is not living up to the agreed 80 percent support it previously signed with Cuttington University thus, hampering the smooth operation of the University.
The CU President notes that undue payment of tuition by self-sponsored students and scholarship donors is also responsible for poor influx of students.Under the new CU policy, self-sponsored students are required to deposit 75 percent tuition and one hundred percent fees, including dormitory, laboratory, meals as well as required semester fees in cash at registration.
Students are also required to make payment for remaining 25 percent during mid-term. Under the Browne administration, there is a huge increment in the registration fee ($232.50USD) and is expected to climb a further 25 percent each semester to one hundred percent unlike the previous administrations of Dr. Evelyn Kandakai (registration fee $194.00USD) and Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa (registration fee 155.00USD).
In spite of the budgetary allotment, the unprecedented hike in tuition has prevented poverty-stricken parents to send their children to Cuttington University to pursue high education.
“We thought Cuttington University moved to Bong County to assist government in educating its citizens, but the current atmosphere surrounding the University is discouraging”, citizens complained on community radio stations in the county.
With Liberia being an impoverished country where parents find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to meet their children’s basic needs, including education, they are appealing to the legislature to invite the Cuttington administration for questioning.They said the increase in tuition is a clear indication of depriving the underprivileged of pursuing higher education.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan, Bong County-Editing by Jonathan Browne