$40.8M outstanding fees forces university to take action
DEBTS totalling $40.8 million has forced the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) to put its foot down on a deadline – October 31, 2018.
The institute warns that after this date, it would be forced to ‘take hard and unpleasant decisions’, which may include barring students from sitting their final exams next month.
SINU is reportedly faced with severe cash flow problems for the months October to December 2018 due to these outstanding fees.
In a media statement, SINU says this is largely due to non-payment of school fees. To date, the following corporate sponsors are yet to settle the school fees for 1st Semester and 2nd Semester 2018.
- Constituency Scholarships through Members of Parliament – $14million
- Guadalcanal Province Education Authority – $8million
- Private & Self Sponsored Students $6million
Total – $28million
In addition, several government ministries are yet to settle the school fees totalling to $12.8million for 2nd Semester 2018. In general the total outstanding fee is $40.8million.
Consequences of the severe cash flow problem are that university is not in position to meet its commitments to Student Course Materials, Students Meal Costs, Utilities, Staff Leave Passage, Repairs and Maintenance, etc.
SINU says it owes substantial amounts 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.
On its part SINU has already introduced several cost cutting measures, but this is not enough and can only go so far.
Through this press release SINU is once again asking all MPs, Guadalcanal province education authority, privately sponsored students and the relevant ministries to immediately clear their outstanding dues to the University.
“The deadline to settle your outstanding fees is October 31, 2018,” the SINU statement said.
“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 in the final examination in November this year.
“On behalf of the Senior Management, the Vice Chancellor wishes to acknowledge the support from sponsors, Individuals and suppliers that have committed to support the university thus far.”
Meanwhile, responding to an email enquiry by Island Sun, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Education, Dr Franco Rodie said, “I do not have much comments to make except to say that payment of tuition fees for SIG sponsored students have been raised by my Ministry and waiting MOFT to make the payments. I would also like those who are yet to settle their sponsored students to do so quickly.”