SUP Rebukes, Rejects, and Resists any Increment in Tuition and Fees

A Statement Issued By Student Unification Party, University of Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 1, 2015



Comrades and friends of revolutionary and political prowess, sons and daughters of underprivileged and marginalized citizens of our country, militants, cadres and intellectual paragons, we bring you warm revolutionary greetings from the oasis of intellectual and political consciousness of Africa’s oldest mass-based political movement, the Vanguard Student Unification Party.

In acquiescence with our historical and traditional mandate to protect the overwhelming interest of thousands of students across Liberia and the public in general, we are disappointingly dismayed to have ascertained that the Administration of the University of Liberia has embarked on a disingenuous and unproductive journey to unjustifiably increase tuition and fees at the detriment of struggling students. The Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) categorically rebukes, rejects, and resists any increment and would inexorably battle such devilish attempt, which has the inclination to depopulate the University. Let it be known that the University of Liberia which was solely established through an Act of Legislation to train men and women, is predominantly a public funded institution, especially to protect the weak. 

The pitiless intent by UL Administration to increase tuition from L$175.00 per credit to US$ 5.00 per credit and transportation fare from L$30.00 to L$100.00 does not only amount to wickedness, but it is also a canny and crafty scheme to discourage and dampen the academic progress of over 36,000 students currently attending the University of Liberia. The Vanguard Student Unification Party completely frowns on the insensitivity of this government to transform the nation’s highest institution of tertiary education.

The deliberate and indiscreet action of national government to shockingly neglect its statutory responsibility by appropriating US$15 million to UL this fiscal year, even though a minimum of US$29 million was requested, projects the unwillingness of this regime to standardize academic programs and ensure quality education at the University of Liberia. Let it be categorically known that the real motive of Madam Sirleaf and her cronies is to intentionally strangulate the advancement and enlightenment of thousands of Liberian students at the University of Liberia.

As a means of justifying her unusual proclamation that ‘education is a mess’, her administration continues to underfund the University amidst harsh economic realities. This ill-omened and hapless tactic to portray a weak and dark cloud over the educational system in Liberia is a clever technique of paving a better future for their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, and confidants who are currently acquiring quality education in the USA and other parts of the Diaspora to return and economically enslave our people.

On May 11, 2015, the Vanguard Student Unification Party officially wrote a communiqué to the National Legislature justifiably requesting members of this body to increase the budgetary allotment of the University of Liberia from US$15 million to at least US$20 million. Disappointingly, unpatriotic legislators overtly ignored this genuine proposal and went ahead to increase their own salaries, incentives, and benefits. Judging from existing realities, the National Legislature has become a self-seeking political theater of crooks and cronies only interested in amassing wealth at the detriment of ordinary citizens. How can quality education emerge in Liberia when Lawmakers are viciously using over US$40,000 just to purchase a vehicle, while students at UL struggle to obtain scholarships every semester? This bald-faced and blatant thoughtlessness is unbecoming and unacceptable! It is a complete mockery for 36,000 students at UL to be given just US$15 million as budgetary appropriation while 800 students at Tubman University are receiving US$6 million.  

SUP believes that a prosperous and great nation is only possible when adequate resources are made available to promote quality education. What is big about providing US$29 million to enhance quality tertiary education for over 36,000 Liberian students when our current national budget totals US$622,743,420 as opposed to just US$80,000,000 in 2005? The Administration of UL needs to be bold with national government that US$15 million is very insufficient to run the University. The Student Unification Party (SUP) is justifiably opposing increment in tuition and fees at UL for the following reasons:

  1. Over 80% of students attending UL struggle every semester to obtain scholarships and financial aid from donors, philanthropists, and humanitarians.

  2. There are no concrete achievements to display after increasing tuition and fees in past years. The learning environment still remains hostile. Access to modern facilities such as libraries, science laboratories, research and resource centers, computer labs, internet, pipe-born water, clinic, cafeteria, pit latrines, infrastructures, and logistics is lacking.  

  3. Access to student loan, financial assistance, grant, and subsidy is totally invisible while the Student Loan Bill lies in limbo at the National Legislature.
  4. Internship and vacation jobs for students are unavailable.

  5. Vast majority of the students studying at UL are jobless and self-supported, while the cost of living remains very high couple with hyperinflation, underpayment of civil servants, low household income and acute poverty.

  6. The intentional and insensitive nature of national government to continuously underfund UL even though key State actors are pretentiously questing for educational reform.

  7. UL Administration and GoL are not employing appropriate strategies to ensure Concession Companies settle their liabilities with the University, which is in accordance with the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA). Multi-billion companies in Liberia currently owe UL huge sum of US dollars.

  8. Most students have been economically robbed due to the hard-hitting impact of the Ebola Virus Disease.

  9. Education is not a privilege, but a fundamental right according to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 15(b) of the Liberian Constitution.

  10. Even if tuition is increased to US$5.00 per credit, which is not possible, it still does not address existing academic predicaments at UL. The administration will only generate US$2,250,000 from 30,000 active students at an average of 15 credits. Who provides the remaining US$11,750,000?

  11. The University of Liberia was never established for profiteering or profit maximization. According to its Charter, it is not a revenue generating entity, but a public institution solely established to contribute to national development by providing quality tertiary education.

The highest form of injustice is for 36,000 students and almost 2000 staffers at UL to receive US$15,000,000 per annum while a single Pro Tempore’s office receives US$1,483,784 and a single Speaker’s office receives US$974,654 per annum. Why must the Ministry of Finance that comprises of about 1,000 employees receive US$82 million and the State-run University lies in ruin due to budgetary constraints? Are we really serious about promoting quality education? How can our nation produce great doctors, engineers, scientists, agriculturists, financial experts, economists, entrepreneurs, business tycoons, lawyers, public health specialists, and other professionals when the foremost refinery of higher education in Liberia is retrogressing each day due to budgetary challenges? SUP understands that President Sirleaf now uses a bulletproof hummer jeep while thousands of students are struggling every day to acquire quality education.

As a means of addressing visible and surmounting challenges at UL, SUP hereby recommends a National Consultative Dialogue and Stakeholder Conference on Tertiary Education in order to brainstorm and engender a genuine and lasting framework or resolution to ensure quality education at the University of Liberia and other private institutions. SUP assures all students that a penny will not be added on the L$175.00 per credit. We are ever ready to stand tall against this sinister agenda. However, if the University of Liberia ever shuts down as a result of our resistance to this glaring injustice and the inability of this government to reasonably fund academic programs, it means the Legislature and probably the Foreign and Finance Ministries will shut down as well. This will be the beginning of a new revolution. The 36,000 students can no longer be deprived of their rights! Their determination to redefine their destiny and reshape a nation of equality and justice for ALL must not be taken for granted. The wind of change is gradually blowing and the Student Unification Party is leading this process of inclusive change!

It is often said in Swahili “ushindi juu ya watesi wetu ni baadhi ya” meaning “victory over our oppressors is certain”. In the cause of social justice and academic freedom, the struggle remains unabated. Long live SUP, long live all SUPISTS, long live the masses agenda, long live massescracy, long live the Liberian people. SUP will never die…

Done and issued on this 28th Day of August A.D. 2015 by the mandate of the Central Committee and Politburo concomitantly.

Signed: ______________________________________________________
                                          Cde. Martin K. N. Kollie
Chairman on Information, Propaganda, Research and Guidance, SUP

Approved: ____________________________________________________
                                             Cde. Nathan N. Kpao, Chairman, SUP

Elijah F. Taylor
I am completely surprised to learn about this proposed increase in tuition at the University of Liberia. The country is now in our hands! Where is Dr. Sawyer, Dr. Fahnbulleh, Senator Wesseh, etc..? Where are they? Have they forgotten us so soon? These are the same individuals who in the past staged demonstrations against other regimes for failing to improve conditions at the university. They are now part of the current government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Senator Wesseh was once the head of SUP. They are doing nothing now to assist the very university they once represented. Senator Wesseh in particular is now in a comfortable position to advocate for an increase in the budgetary allotment to the university. There should be absolutely no increase in tuition at this time. There is serious economic hardship affecting the 36,000 students. Where will they find funds or money to pay for such high tuition? I am not encouraging violence as means of addressing this serious problem. But rather calling on those in authority especially those individuals whose names that I have mentioned to stand up in the interest of the University of Liberia. Majority of the students can't afford to attend private universities. This university belongs to the Republic of Liberia. This is the main reason it is known as the" University of Liberia".
Elijah F. Taylor at 09:22PM, 2015/09/01.
Mae Moore
Senator Wisseh, Boima Fahnbulleh, Togba Nah Tipoteh, Amos Sawyer, etc., cannot say anything now, for they are equally getting their share of the loot. Dew Mayson got his during the Charles Taylor´s loot.
Mae Moore at 03:32PM, 2015/09/02.
Zamawa A. Zamawa
At times I wonder whether Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, been the witch she is, has bewitched or threw spells on people like Tipoteh, Sawyer, Fahnbulleh, and even the very few others whom have become like ZOMBIES serving the interest of this woman. And she (Ellen) goes to the extent of boasting: "I know how to get my mojo working."

So, the only person with whom her mojo failed to have worked was Charles Taylor. Well, with the remnants of Charles Taylor now delisted from the UN sanctions travel ban, we shall see whether her mojo shall work on the likes of Benoni Urey and others who have seen in the duplicity, vainess, very wicked and corrupt psyche of this war criminal polluting the seat of the Liberian presidency to the extent that the whole Executive Mansion got burnt down.
Zamawa A. Zamawa at 02:42AM, 2015/09/03.
martin k scott
Are these LU socialists, oops, i mean students, warden of the state? Shouldn't they be grateful that their school fees is being subsidized by the other people (i.e the Liberian taxpayers) hard earned money?

In fiscal 2011/2012, Liberian taxpayers spend US$13 million on subsidizing their college education, but yet most of these so called students are unable to put together a coherent line of thought!

Oh wait, i forget: they are good at using their soviet-style rhetoric to express their grievances!

I don't know about you, but I've reached my tipping point with these ungrateful students! I want my money back!

martin k scott at 09:44PM, 2015/09/05.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Martin Scott or whatever you are called, you better shut your parasite mouth up! Do you not know the very money you are been paid with by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to spew your rubbish IN HER BEHALF is the hard earned tax paying funds of most of these very students and their parents? You better shut up you good-for-nothing clown!

Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 04:18AM, 2015/09/06.
martin k scott
Hey Zoebohn, before I shut up, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you several questions about your 15 syllabic indigenous name (KANDAJABA ZOEBOHN ZOEDJALLAH):

1) Are your parents literary figures? Your name sound like an alliteration: Zoebohn Zoedjallah Zoeintellectuallybankrupt!

2)How did your parents know to make your middle name rhyme with buffoon as in Buffoon Zoebohn?

3) It is just a coincidence that your middle name rhymes with buffoon?

4) Is it your middle name that make you act like a buffoon?

Hey, sometimes names can have a big influence on a person's personality; sometimes they try to live up to the name given to them like Buffoon Zoebohn.. I'm just sayin'
martin k scott at 12:34PM, 2015/09/06.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Martin when your very poor toilet and piss toting parents were domestic servants for the Scotts as you your self once mentioned on FPA, my parents were both a medical doctor and a lawyer respectively in the USA and subsequently in Liberia. Ask this very Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to whom you are a zombie. So you see it is in your DNA to be the silly clown and toilet-piss toting scalawag as your poor and illiterate wretched parents.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 01:49PM, 2015/09/06.
Martin K. N. Kollie
It is good to always read and comprehend properly before spreading thorny assertions and diluted thoughts. Anyway, I understand from whence you come Martin K. Scott. We understand that you are a career 'PAY AGENT' who sits in the US and milks from corrupt pockets and pulses in Liberia.

You cannot write more than most of the Students attending UL. Reading some of your junks and scraps are really sickening and heart-aching. As a result of this case we presented recently, President Sirleaf consented yesterday that there will be no increment at UL. This means, our reasons for opposing unjustifiable increment are very genuine.

Furthermore, are we not taxpayers too? More besides, appropriations made to UL aren't only from taxes. It is good for one to investigate before marketing his/her ignorance. So, government only generates revenue from taxes Scott? Where did you learn Economics? You really don't know who to pick fuss on eeehhhh.....? Let this serve as a stern warning Mr. Bootlicker and Cash-crook.
Martin K. N. Kollie at 06:17PM, 2015/09/08.
Zamawa A. Zamawa
Do not mind this floor rag named and styled Martin Scott. Even mentioning him in whichever public intellectualism is a mistake. The internet has made even pigs as Martin Scott seen from his pig penn. Now, he has proven himself a real clown as Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah, and another person describeed him recently.
Zamawa A. Zamawa at 04:56AM, 2015/09/09.
martin k scott
Hey Comrade Nikita Kollie! If LU students, as well as non-LU students are taxpayers, why isn't the government subsidizing tho tuition of non-LU students, when both groups are taxpayers?

So why is one group (LU students) being subsidized at the expense of the other group (non-LU students?

Aren't you embarrassed that someone else is subsidizing your school fees, but yet you act like you have a right to their hard earned cash?

The money the Liberian government gets to subsidize you and the other free-loaders at LU comes from a) taxes b)govt printing more money c) borrowing or d)begging! In all 4 ways, the taxpayer are on the hook!

But why oh why, Do you want the government to support you from cradle to grave? Are you some kine of human livestock? There's nothing in the Constitution that gives you the right to other people's money, bro!

By the way, are the same guy they used to call knucklehead Kollie? Just wondering..
martin k scott at 04:00PM, 2015/09/10.
Jerry Wion
"A man can not ride on your back unless it is bent."--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For too long the poor masses in Liberia have allowed the oppressors to ride on the backs of the poor. Martin Kollie, Nathan Kpao and the 36,000-strong student body at the University of Liberia said NO. They decided to straighten their backs up and never again allow the cronies in government mortgage their future/education.

This is the struggle between the forces of good and evil and this battle is as old as the history of mankind: the exploitation of the weak and poor by the few, rich and powerful. This is the struggle in Liberia.

Jerry Wehtee Wion, Journalist and Political Commentator, Washington, DC, USA.
Jerry Wion at 07:46PM, 2015/09/25.

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