President Sirleaf Meets with Protesting UL Students

Monday, 4th June 2007
UL students in a meeting with President Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
UL students in a meeting with President Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Photo Credit: Ousman Diallo/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on the students of University of Liberia to be patient as she consults with University President Dr. Al-Hassan Konteh on what his plans are for the university. The President reaffirmed her support for education, pointing to recent agreements reached between the governments of Liberia, China and the United States for the renovation of the Fendal Campus of the University of Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke on Thursday at the Foreign Ministry, where she met with an eleven member delegation of the University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU), following protests by the students over prevailing conditions at the University.

The Liberian leader informed the students that the Governmentís ultimate aim is to make the University of Liberia comparable to any other university in Africa. The President, who is also visitor of the University, acknowledged the problems at the Nationís Highest Learning Institution, but said frequent street protests by the students at the University send a bad signal to the international community, thus making it very difficult to solicit assistance. The President again called for a change in the charter of the University to make it consistent with other universities in the world.

Earlier, the President of the Student Union, Mr. Amos Tubor, informed the President that transportation to the new Fendal Campus was difficult due to the lack of adequate buses to transport them. He emphasized that their protest was geared towards sensitizing students from other colleges to sympathize with their plight. The students also complained about the increment in laboratory fees from 25 to 250 Liberian dollars.
 
The delegation also informed President Johnson Sirleaf that student leaders were being threatened with suspension from classes as a result of their advocacy for better conditions. The students have, meanwhile, called for an extension in the deadline for registering courses.

Education Minister Dr. Joseph Korto and Information Minister Dr. Lawrence Bropleh also attended Mondayís meeting with the students.