THE arrears owed to the Solomon Islands National University by self-sponsored students and student-sponsors has accumulated to $86-million in the period from 2017 to 2021.
This clarification came after the SINU Acting Vice-Chancellor (VC), Dr Jack Maebuta, stated that the $86m arrears were from previous years.
He was speaking at the SINU graduation ceremony in Honiara last Friday.
A SINU officer familiar with the arrears explained; “In fact the $86m was accumulated in the period from 2017 to 2021 semester 1.”
It was explained that as of semester 2 last year – 2021, there was a change to the enrollment process which saw private students and constituency-sponsored students pay for their fees before attending classes.
“This saw the enrollment drop from 8000 to only 3000+ students and shows that 4000 students did not pay for their fees but continued enrolling each year since 2017,” the officer explained.
The Acting VC, Dr Maebuta said as from last year, SINU became very strict and only allowed students to enroll upon full fee payment.
He explained that the significant outstanding tuition fee arrears owed and payable to SINU by sponsors, including Members of Parliament (MPs) and private sponsored students
Dr Maebuta said there is a view that these outstanding bills should be written off.
“If we do this, SINU and especially the present management will set a bad precedent for the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the University has assisted private students with a debt relief of $1,500 from their outstanding tuitions.
As a result, a good number of students have benefited from the debt-relief.
By MOFFAT MAMU