The Episcopal Church of Liberia-owned Cuttington University is in its worst financial woes, and if there is no emergency solution, there could be a risk of the school shutting down. This is a result of the US$1M arrears owed the school by donors or sponsors of students on scholarships.
Tormue Quemini, Public Relations Officer of the University told this paper in Suacoco that more than eight hundred thousand (US$800,000.00) United States was incurred between 2008-2011 (school period), covering all categories of students at the University.
He stated further that the former JIU students who were on government scholarships at Cuttington, have the biggest chunk of the arrears in the tune of over five hundred thousand (US$ 500,000.00) United States.
Quemini indicated that the monthly expenditure of the institution was huge, considering power (electricity) supply which amounts to Twenty Three Thousand (US$ 23,000.00) United States for 10-days, while fuel cost amounts to Sixty Nine Thousand (US$ 69,000.00) United States per month for 8 hour electricity supply.
He said the government’s subsidy to the University annually was 9 percent, emphasizing the need for increment because the institution remains committed in its strive for human resource development.
Unlike the past, Quemini advanced further, the government provided 80 percent subsidy for each student attending the University which created the opportunity at the time for many people to acquire higher education at the expense, but that has changed at the moment at the University.
To curb the University’s financial drought, the administration in 2010, instituted several measures to include the abolition of employment in its administrative circle.
“This helped to slash the daily operational costs and reduction in the work of scholarships to at least 40 percent. This affected many personnel, who worked and at the same attended the University,” Quemini noted.
The drastic reduction of the support of the Episcopal Church of America to the school for years now according to the administration has made matter worst for the University.
“The university heavily relies on tuition and other fees to take care of its huge expenditure to ensure its viability and standardization in offering quality education to Liberian and foreign students pursuing higher education,” the Cuttington PRO stated.
Quemini pointed out that in the past, the school had tried to relax its financial policy as a result of the financial problems confronting most students, but has reached a point wherein the university is now constrained to take tougher measures to ensure compliance with tuition payment.
Established 1889 by the Episcopal Church, Cuttington University is one of the oldest private 4 year degree granting institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.