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February 25, 2021

UPNG VC Speaks

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Tension remains high at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Following yesterday’s clash, students from the Southern Highlands Province have been camping under trees at the entrance of the school.


The administration and the Office of the Higher Education say they stand in support of the students.


Vice Chancellor Professor, Albert Mellam, and OHE Director General, Professor David Kavanamur, called a conference this afternoon at the campus to highlight the recent events.


Professor Mellam said his administration will support the students in carrying out their rights under the constitution; however, he said the boycotting of classes is not acceptable.


The UPNG Administration made their stance clear this afternoon in allowing the students to exercise their rights under the Student Representative Council Constitution and the National Constitution.


Vice Chancellor Professor Albert Mellam, however said the administration is not legally bound to get involved in such situations directly, and have engaged the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum on whether students should protest or not, to maintain impartiality.


Professor Mellam commended the students for maintaining professionalism during the impasse, however, was disappointed that no classes were held today following yesterday’s clash.


He said the administration will support the students to exercise their rights, however, said the senate will only intervene when students continue to boycott classes.


Executive deans, professors and directors present also showed support for the Vice Chancellor.


Tension is still high at the school.


Following yesterday’s clash, the Southern Highlands students have been forced to camp under the trees since.


The Vice Chancellor said his administration and the SRC are working around the clock to restore peace and normalcy.


In the meantime, the Vice Chancellor has urged all staff and students to return to classes and work.


He said those who disobey this directive will be dealt with accordingly.


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