Alafua cannot change accommodation fees

The University of the South Pacific Alafua campus has no authority to make any changes to accommodation charges, says Head of School and Campus Director, Professor Mohammed Umar. 

“Alafua has no authority to make any changes to the room rates as stipulated in the 2018 Handbook and Calendar, I refer you directly to page 502, however we have informed Suva about the student concerns and that is all we can do for now,” Prof. Umar said. 

He was responding to allegations raised by an alumnus that the accommodation charges are expensive, resulting in the declining number of students residing on campus (read letter page 12). 

“Re: meals - This is a legitimate issue raised. This arrangement has been in place for many years and we have inherited as well this year whereby the caterer provides for the meals and students pay for it through the University,” he said highlighting the concern on the compulsory meal fee.  

“As there are many sponsored students, donors prefer that the University provide a caterer to provide students meals. Their concern as well as ours is the welfare of the students and that the students have access to meals on campus.” 

Prof. Umar also explained that there is clear policy and procedure regarding the awarding of contracts for maintenance work for the campus and Savaii centre. 

“There is a very clear University policy and procedure regarding the awarding of contracts that we are required to follow and we do follow. At Alafua, all contractors awarded work have met the requirements in terms of the minimum cost and quality of the work which they have completed elsewhere where we can go and assess and also are able to complete the work and the quality required within the time period given in the contract and others.

“Water blasting, our maintenance can easily do that however we do not have the necessary harness to secure the safety of our workers on the rooftops, it makes a lot of sense to provide the contract to change the rusty roofs, paint the roofs to also clean the rooftops as well to the contractor.

“Additionally, we only have three full time maintenance workers including the electrician, one carpenter and one supervisor. Even if we are able to use them, we will not be able to keep up with the other basic maintenance needs, such as student residential, lecture rooms, staff houses, labs, library including maintenance needs from the Savaii Centre.”

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