Challenging Implementation Of New Solomon University Fee Policy

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Requires students to pay full semester tuition at admission

By Stephen Di’isango

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, February 6, 2015) – Students intending to study at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) are required to pay their first semester fees in full.

And SINU insisted it will not admit students who turn up with part or half semester fees.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (academic) Dr Patricia Rodie confirmed the new measure to the Solomon Star on Thursday in response to complaints from students and parents about this new policy.

Classes at SINU will start next week.

Dr Rodie said this new measure was put in place based on previous experiences they had with students regarding the payment of their fees.

"In past years, we allow students to make part-payment of their first semester fees on the understanding that they will pay off their fees by the end of the semester," Dr Rodie said.

"But most students and parents failed to live up to their promises.

"We’ve noted that most students with fee arrears were those sponsored by their MPs.

"To put a stop to the practice, our finance department came up with this policy to ensure SINU is paid the fees it requires to meet its operational costs."

Students and parents who called the Solomon Star this week described the new policy as unfair and inhuman.

"SINU management must understand that $5000 is no small amount for some of us parents," a parent Timothy Rafera said.

"SINU should sympathise and understand our financial situation. By coming up with this new fee-paying policy, they are deny our children their right to attain tertiary education," he added.

A SINU academic also told the Solomon Star the management should assess its case on its own merit.

"By imposing a blanket policy, SINU would be denying our students the opportunity to study their courses of interest," the academic said.

"Students come from different backgrounds and financial standings so SINU management should understand this.

"I will not be surprise if we don’t have students to teach this year because of this new policy," he said.

Dr Rodie said the SINU management acknowledged sentiments and complaints expressed by students and parents but "there is no such thing free education on earth".

"This new fee-paying policy was made in the interest of SINU. We must understand it needs money to function and operate."

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