PNG Student Leaders' Expulsion Threatens Reconciliation Process

Student leader: around 60 students are permanently barred from attending the university

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 29, 2016) – Students Leaders at the University of Papua New Guinea have been told by the institution's administration that they are permanently excluded from their studies.

Members of the Student Representative Council's executive have received letters to this effect as students from around PNG return to the capital this week for the resumption of the academic year.

UPNG studies were suspended in July after a series of disruptions and unrest at the Waigani campus amid a six-week boycott of classes by thousands of students inprotest against the prime minister Peter O'Neill.

A student leader, Hercules Jim, said he and around 60 others are permanently barred from attending the university.

"It won't really go down with the student leaders and even the students, I believe also the staff and welfare of the university. Because we are in a process of reconciliation and doing these things in a Melanesian way, to solve this issue once and for all and let the students finish their studies."

Mr Jim said students would meet this week to discuss their response and were likely to make a formal appeal to the University council to ask it to reconsider the decision.

However he confirmed that the interval given by UPNG's administration for the excluded students to seek redress for their termination had already elapsed by the time most received their letters.

Radio New Zealand International
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