By: Sylvester Choloplay
Liberia: In the wake of a free tuition policy at the University of Liberia(UL), the University’s President – Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. has disclosed that the University is currently facing tough challenges in providing quality education for students.
According to Dr. Nelson, the challenges are due to a huge decline in payments of registration fees by students.
Dr. Nelson revealed that below 10% of total registered students for 2022 academic year paid their registration fees. This, according to him, includes graduate and professional schools, who owe huge tuition arrears while undergraduate students are generally reluctant to pay their registration fees.
The UL President further disclosed that for the current Academic Year (2022), enrollment has exceeded 21,000 (of which below 10 percent of students paid their registration fees) and projections for the 2022/2023 Academic Year puts the University beyond 25,000 mark.
In 2018, President George Weah announced free tuition at the University of Liberia, meaning only fees those enrolled would now pay.
But, Dr. Nelson in a press conference on Thursday, September 8, 2022, in Monrovia, said the University of Liberia cannot meet the high expectations of providing quality education to a rapidly growing student population without a sense of obligation on the part of students to pay tuition and fees.
“We are strongly appealing to all of our students, Undergraduate, Professional and Graduate Schools to joyfully and lovingly pay their registration fees using the various banking options we have provided as soon as possible”, Dr. Nelson asserted.
Outlining the challenges that the University is faced with, Dr. Nelson named the attraction of high-quality faculty and staff, updating learning platforms, infrastructures, improving technology and general facilities (among other things) on all of the university’s campuses.
He said these activities have significant cost implications.
Therefore, the UL President said the digital enrolment platform is being tweaked to automatically remove students who are in arrears at the end of the semester.
“Undergraduate students will not be allowed to sit for final exams without registration complete confirmation, which is the requirement for student Identification Card”, he said.
Meanwhile, the University of Liberia (UL) through its Center for Testing and Evaluation (CTE) has released its 2022 academic year entrance results.
According to the University, a total of 12,338 candidates sat for the Undergraduate Colleges Entrance and Placement Exam, while 1,040 candidates sat the Graduate and Professional Schools aptitude test.
Out of the total number of candidates who participated, 5,053 candidates passed successfully.
UL President informed media practitioners that the first entrance and placement exam and aptitude test was administered from June 21 to July 16, 2022, in which over 13,000 candidates participated.
President Nelson said the first entrance and placement exam and aptitude test for 2022 tapped on the success of UL’s digitization and decentralization process and rolled out a digital entrance at the Undergraduate level for the first time.
In a brief remark, the Executive Director of the Center for Testing and Evaluation (CTE), Assistant Prof. Moses Hinneh said the number of candidates who made a regular pass – those who passed all subjects successfully) were 5,053 candidates.
Also announcing the results for the Graduate and Professional Schools aptitude tests, Assistant Prof. Calvin Alvin Gaye, Deputy Director, CTE, said a total of 1,058 candidates registered for the Graduate and Professional school aptitude tests.
He said 300 candidates sat the Law School test, of whom there were 43 successful candidates, 257 unsuccessful candidates, and 15 candidates absent.
For the Graduate School, he said 480 candidates sat the test, of which, 240 candidates were successful, and 240 candidates unsuccessful. For Medical School, he said 209 candidates sat the test, of which, there were 40 successful candidates, 169 unsuccessful candidates. For the School of Pharmacy, he said 40 candidates sat the test, of whom there were nine successful candidates, and 31 unsuccessful candidates.
At the same time, the University of Liberia also announced that registration for the second entrance for 2022 will start on 12 September and will end on 22 October 2022.
The second entrance will be administered on 5 November 2022.
The University of Liberia is the only state-run university with several campuses around Liberia and thousands of students,