UL 2022 Master’s Graduates Request for Refund -After Pres. Weah’s USD55, 800 Assistance for Graduation Fees

The 2022 Graduates of University of Liberia’s Graduate Studies Program been raising issues with the Administration of the Institution on its reluctance to refund their graduation fees after President George Manneh Weah had paid the amount of $55,800 to the UL authorities through the President of the Class to cover all the expenses for 124 students who graduated from various disciplines recently.

According to the graduates, on March 18, 2022, President Weah, through one of his Presidential aide, Sekou Kalasco Damaro, presented the money to the leadership of the 124 students represented by their President Christopher Leon Hansford to ward off the difficulties in the way of then prospective graduates who were already paying their graduation expenses as was required by the administration.

The UL administration had asked each of the graduates to pay $450 as graduation fees.

The graduates complained that Mr. Hansford, upon receipt of the money, turned it over to the administration for the intended purpose which implied that no one should have been made to pay graduation fees again.

They are now asking the UL administration for refund.

According to the group, the President’s generosity got to the University of Liberia much later after most of the students had already made prompt payments and were gearing towards having festive time over their graduation but only a small fraction of them actually benefited from the assistance.

The group said when the information got to them about what the President had done for them, they approached the administration for prompt refund in order to use the money to take care of other pressing items associated with the graduation program while some others actually wanted the refund in order to pay money borrowed from lenders with unfriendly terms just to take part in the graduation.

The UL Masters’ graduates said that the UL administration had earlier promised to reimburse the money to them after the graduation exercise because it did not have the time to attend to financial matters of that nature in the face of preparations for convocation and other activities.

The graduates maintained that since the graduation was over, the UL administration has been reneging to refund them, and there has not been serious commitment from the administration as it relates to getting their refund.

“The previous statement from the Presidential aide was that if you have already paid your graduation fees, you should have a refund,” a member of the Graduating Class said. “But it will interest you to know that up to now, the administration of the University of Liberia has not done a single refund to those graduates who are clear with the University of Liberia.”

The group said it put them in a difficult situation to now show appreciation to the President for the timely donation only because the UL administrating is failing to settle the refund issue.

“We want the President of the Republic of Liberia to know that, 99% of the graduates from the 102 graduate school, didn’t benefit from his kind gesture, and that’s why he has not received congratulations messages from us, via Facebook, radio station, print media, and etc.,” one of the graduates said.

On March 19, 2022, Presidential aide Sekou Kalasco Damaro took to his social media page to inform the public about the President’s assistance:

He wrote: “His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah today paid the graduation fees for all Students graduating from the Masters’ Program of the University of Liberia (UL) this Year 2022.”

“This suggests that all UL Masters students graduating from the University of Liberia will no longer burden themselves with the payment of graduation fees. The associated stress of fees payment is being shouldered by H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, who is by law a visitor of the University of Liberia,” the presidential aide’s post stated.

“It also suggests that Masters students graduating this year 2022 who were struggling to raise funds in order to pay their graduation fees can now dance upon hearing such splendid news.”

When contacted to get the side of the administration, Atty. Norris Tweah, Vice President for University Relations, responded to a text message sent to him: “Refund will be provided once all the reconciliation paperwork is concluded. I will check with our BFO (Business and Finance Office) people to ascertain what the status of the refund schedule is. Please check with our media director Jani Jallah to follow up with you on this. You can do that tomorrow. Today is Sunday”. Mr. Tweah said in his text.

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