Cuttington University President Dr. Hermon Browne says considering the continuous downward trend in the government’s financial support to the University, it will not lower its 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 citizens.
In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, Cuttington University received more than one million United States Dollars as a subsidy from the Government of Liberia (GoL).
In the 2017/2018 national budget, CU has been allotted about five hundred eighty thousand United States Dollars. However, many citizens in Bong County are of the strong view that fees being paid by students of the university are exorbitant and unaffordable for many Liberians.
Despite the allotments, Dr. Browne told Journalists that the Liberian government is not living up to the agreed eighty percent support it previously assured Cuttington University. He said the alleged failure of the government is severely affecting the smooth operation of the University.
The Cuttington University President further pointed out that due to slow payment of tuition by self-sponsored students and scholarship donors is another factor that affects the smooth operation of the university.
Under the new CU policy, self-sponsored students are required to deposit 75% of tuition and one hundred percent of all other fees including dormitory, laboratory, meals as well as semester required fees in cash during registration.
Students are also required to make payment of the remaining 25% during mid-term.
Under the Browne administration, there is a huge increment in the registration fee ($232.50USD) and is expected to climb further from 25% every semester to one hundred percent.
The citizens narrated that during the past administration of Dr. Evelyn Kandakai as President of Cuttington University, registration fee was $194.00 while during the administration of Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa as president of CU, registration fee was US$155.00.
However, many citizens in Bong County believe that despite the budgetary allotments being made to CU by the Liberian government, the ‘unprecedented hike’ in tuition and fees has prevented poverty-stricken parents from sending their children to Cuttington University for higher 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 and alarming,” said several citizens of Bong County who spoke through local community radio stations in the county recently.
They said Liberia being an impoverished country where most parents find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to meet their children’s basic needs including education, the Legislature should see the urgent need to invite administration of Cuttington University for questioning.
They said the skyrocketing increase of tuition and fees at the University is depriving the children of underprivileged Liberians from pursuing higher education at the university.
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