FEE payers have owed the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) with a huge unpaid arrears-the amount is shocking.
As at 31st March 2022 the total outstanding tuition fees arrears owed and payable to Solomon Islands National University for period 2018-2022 amount to $86,073,285.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Pro Vice-Chancellor Academy Dr Jack Maebuta revealed this amount of money to the Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Miva Yoshiaki during his milestone visit to the University yesterday.
Dr Maebuta stressed that this comprises tuition fees arrears payable to SINU by MPs, Guadalcanal Province and Western Province and private sponsored students during the period 2018-2020 which totalled to $66,480,810.
“A further additional outstanding tuition fees payable to SINU for 2021 by MPs, Ministries, Provinces and private sponsored students continued to be incurred and accumulated,” he said.
The SINU boss added that as at 31st March 2022, additional total of $19,592,810 have been incurred and has remained unpaid.
This is a big challenge for the University which was established in 2013, now it has nine years in running and has faced a financial crisis inflicted by school fees payers.
The fees arrears have given a big headache and exponential challenges to implement its Strategic Plan 2021-2025.
“With these challenges of SIG passive support and fees arrears, SINU finds extreme difficulty in implementing its Strategy Plan 2021-2025,” SINU boss Dr Maebuta told H.E Yoshiaki.
He said in 2021 the Cabinet approved and pledged to increase the SIG capital grant allocation to SINU from $30.0 million to $100.0 million and recurrent grant from $18.7 million to $60.0 million, beginning in the 2022 Budget.
He said the increased grant allocations were aimed at achieving about 35.0 percent funding (global university standard practice) of the SINU annual budget of $250.0 million; enabling academic freedom to recruit international staff to achieve higher quality qualifications and global university recognition and ranking.
“Sadly, SIG had been unable to honour its pledge and commitment in its recently approved 2022 Budget,” he said.
He added it would be a worthy cause for the cabinet to reaffirm its support and commitment to SINU.
Tuition fees payers usually include SIG (Ministry of Education) line ministries, MPs provincial governments, education authorities and private sponsored students.
By LACHLAN EDDIE