…Ask fee payers to settle their dues now
By LESLEY SANGA
SOLOMON Islands National University (SINU) is facing severe cash flow problem due to non-payments of tuition for this year totaling up to $40million.
The situation is severely affecting the University’s operation and its ongoing development plans said SINU Vice-Chancellor (Ag) Professor (Dr.) Prem Rai during press conference on Friday.
He described the situation as a ‘very serious one.’
Of the total, Constituency Scholarships Fund through the Members of Parliament (MP) owed the University around $14m, Guadalcanal Province Education Authority $8m, private & self sponsored students $6m and several government ministries owned $12.8m for the second Semester.
Professor Prem said with the remaining three months from October to December the cash-strapped University desperately needs funds and if nothing is paid or settled it will affect the institution.
“This University is owed millions of dollars in non-payment of school fees,” the Vice chancellor acting said.
He highlighted that its important for many for the sponsors to pay up their dues for 1st Semester and 2nd Semester of this year.
“Because we don’t want this to affect the students and the institution. But if they fail to settle their dues and fees then for sure we will end up in a different situation,” he said.
“If the problem is not fixed urgently it will put the university in a bad position by not meeting our commitments to make available students course materials, students meal, utilities, staff leave passage, repairs and maintenance.
“The university owes substantial amount of money to various contractors and under the current scenario it is impossible to clear the dues to contractors that might result in many ongoing works coming to a halt,” he said.
On its part SINU has already introduced several cost cutting measures to save some fund, yet this is not enough, he added.
The SINU is appealing to all sponsors to immediately clear their outstanding dues as part of rescuing of the University’s financial dilemma.
“The deadline to settle your outstanding fees is 31st of October 2018.
“Failure to act may lead the University to take hard and unpleasant decisions. One likely scenario is that affected students may be barred from sitting the final examination in November this year,” he warned.
Dr Rai said he hopes responsible authorities will settle their financial obligation soon to keep the university afloat and go ahead with its operation till the end of the year.
Its understood many private funded students have been over the past weeks been trying to settle their dues for semester one and the remaining semester.
Government is currently the main sponsor of students at SINU.
Due its financial situation government has been unable to pay up its grant to the university in recent times.