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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Papua New Guinea University of Technology’s exiled VC fights to return (Times Higher Education 27 March 2014)

March 27, 2014
original

(Times Higher Education is arguably the world's leading magazine on higher education with a readership of hundreds of thousands globally. Its twitter account has 108.000 followers and Facebook page over 7.000 followers. It also published the World University Rankings, and organised the World Academic Summit.

The most amazing UNITECH story is how the Chancellor, staff organisations and students all united fought for the VC's return. This article brings home some of the realities of higher education in Papua New Guinea, of which audiences in Europe or USA are largely ignorant.

In December, when the interview was done, we were at the deepest point in the crisis, so now good news will follow, and good things will come from this type of mainstream media exposure. AS)


Students protest in support of Dutch-born university head Albert Schram, expelled by the government in 2013 Source: Ronnie Noan

Flying the flag for Schram: Unitech students march in protest to get their vice-chancellor reinstated after his sudden, unexplained deportation in February 2013

Albert Schram is a university leader in exile. He is the vice-chancellor of Papua New Guinea University of Technology (Unitech), but in February 2013 he was deported and has been forced to live in Australia ever since.

Schram has even been declared a “threat to national security” by the country’s former higher education minister.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Schram wants proper employment visa | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: Schram wants proper employment visa | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Sally Pokiton on Wed, 03/26/2014 - 16:21




The man in the middle of the whole Unitech saga says he wants a proper employment visa and not a business visa that prohibits employment.

The business visa to be issued to Dr Albert Schram means he will be in the country for a period of time and that type of visa will not allow him to carry out his duties as the vice chancellor of the university.

“I am insisting on a proper employment visa,” Schram told PNG Edge today.

UPNG students plan protest march against K3 billion loan - Education News PNG

Original: UPNG students plan protest march against K3 billion loan - Education News PNG
By Bernard Sinai on March 26, 2014




Image via PNG Edge

Students at country’s premier university, University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), are planning a protest march next week against the government’s move to acquire a K3 billion loan, PNG Edge reports.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Of Manus and megaphones (or how I learned to stop worrying and love a bit of M.A.D) | Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

Original: Of Manus and megaphones (or how I learned to stop worrying and love a bit of M.A.D) | Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre
By Karl Claxton on March 24, 2014



Stephen Howes makes a strong case in Friday’s Australian that ‘there’s a price to pay (paywalled) for our indebtedness to Papua New Guinea’ for helping out with our Asylum-seeker obsession: he worries Canberra’s gratitude and anxiety hobbles our leverage in the relationship.

From Papua New Guinea Blogs: PNGBlogs Exclusive “The Sevua Report”

(So now it is finally out, what everybody familiar with UNITECH in Lae has known far at least 15 years. AS)

Original Papua New Guinea Blogs: PNGBlogs Exclusive “The Sevua Report”
Tuesday, March 25, 2014




Only Unitech’s students have the power to force a Commission of Inquiry into the Coverup of the Sevua Report and Banning of Dr Albert Schram.

Click here to view the recommendations of the Sevua Report.

The 2013 boycott by Unitech students should have alerted the O’Neill government that time was of the essence in resolving the impasse at Unitech and preventing further disruption. Judge Mark Sevua submitted the completed report to government in May. After a delay of about a month, Acting HERST Minister Don Polye submitted the Sevua report to NEC for endorsement. Further delay of two months passé before the NEC finally got around to endorsing the report. A further 6 months passed by without any signs from OHE of progress in implementing the report, nor of taking legal action to make it possible to implement the report. A recent letter from OHE described in a pngblogs article by another author indicated that an OHE committee itself recommended specific steps to get the ball rolling. These steps were then ignored, both by the OHE Director General as well as by HERST Minister Arore.

PM Speaks On National Issues - EM TV

Original: PM Speaks On National Issues - EM TV
on Monday, 24 March 2014. Posted in News
BY NEVILLE CHOI, EMTV – PORT MORESBY



In the past month or two, there have been a wide range of national issues that have challenged the determination of the O’Neill-Dion government.

Changes in ministerial portfolio heads, the boycott and standoff by students at the University of Technology, and the PNG Power saga, have all taken up the public’s time, and tested the government.

Monday, 24 March 2014

NUS calls on Govt to publish Sevua report | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: NUS calls on Govt to publish Sevua report | PNG Edge
Sally Pokiton on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:26




The National Students Union has stood behind the University of Technology students by calling on the government to publish findings of the Sevua Report.

NUS interim president and UPNG Student Representative Council president Bobby Yupi says they will support Unitech’s cause and ask for the report to be made public.

“That is the simplest thing they can do and I don’t know why the government is holding onto that report and putting the future of a lot of our students at stake,” he says.

Breakthrough on Schram uni crisis | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge



Original: Breakthrough on Schram uni crisis | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Frankiy Kapin on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 12:54




The first step to solving the ongoing Unitech boycott has been reached with the platform for a two party dialogue established yet the students unanimously maintain, No Schram, No School.

There’s a price to pay for our indebtedness to PNG | The Australian

(Comment: see the section on the PNG universities. The Namaliu/Garnaut University reform proposals are official government policy, and stipulate a University Council of no more than 13 Members. The current UNITECH Council has 32 members according to the Act. AS)

Hon. Tony Abbott, MP, Prime Minister of Australia visiting PNG


Original: There’s a price to pay for our indebtedness to PNG | The Australian

WHEN Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea, we can expect a lot of talk in public about growing business relations between PNG and Australia, and to hear the old refrain of moving the relationship between the two countries from being focused on aid to being focused on trade and investment.

Schram can return to PNG but not Unitech | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

(COMMENT: I am supposed to camp outside the UNITECH gate? I live on campus, why am I banned from going home? Where is this signed and sealed court order banning me from entering campus? Nobody seems to have seen it.

There is only a falsified court order circulated in Dec. 2012 by the former Pro-Chancellor Ralph Saulep, but he has never been able to produce a signed and sealed one.

Everybody conveniently seem to forget that there is a Supreme Court Appeal SCM4/2012 which bans UNITECH Council (old, interim or new) from changing my employment status. I have never been legally dismissed. All legal procedures in the National Courts need to be interpreted in the light of this Supreme Court appeal. National Judges should not rule, until the supreme court has produced its verdict.

There is no vacancy for VC at UNITECH therefore, and both my contracts  with the old and interim Council run until 31 December 2015. A possible new Council will have to abide by these obligations, according to PNG Labour Law. AS)

Schram can return to PNG but not Unitech | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Frankiy Kapin on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 17:49




There is nothing stopping Dr Albert Schram from returning to PNG, but not to Unitech as it will violate an existing court order and defy the laws of PNG.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Lae's Met Sup Lakatani On Unitech Boycott - EM TV (20 March 2014)

Original: Lakatani On Unitech Boycott - EM TV
on Thursday, 20 March 2014. Posted in News




Lae’s Metropolitan Superintendent , Iven Lakatani, said in Lae earlier this week, police won’t interfere with Unitech’s boycott, until they are given the OK by the University’s administration.

Letter Council Decision on Dr. Albert Schram's employment 13 January 2014

In the interest of full disclosure and upon request, here is the letter from Council to my person dated 13 January 2014, but with a condition for my return before 1 April 2014, I guess to satisfy DG OHE Prof. David Kavanamur, who as we know has different plans. He is not on Council but received a copy out of courtesy.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Unitech students not backing down | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original Unitech students not backing down | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Julianna Waeda on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 16:56




The protesting students at the University of Technology Lae are standing strong in their decision to carry on their protests despite the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill threatening to shut down their school.

Vocal student president Eddie Nagual says he has met with legal representation today and will advise the student body.

Awareness support mounting for Unitech (19 March 2014) from National News | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge



Original National News | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Awareness support mounting for Unitech


Student representatives from the University of Technology armed with the theme, “Fight corruption head on and its starts with Unitech,” today briefed the students of their awareness progress throughout the country.

In a forum held at the main campus in Lae, the students were told the support from intended and targeted individuals and groups was positive.

Especially student representatives visiting the highland provinces claimed all parties involved have positively responded to the approach.

The forum was told most high and secondary schools were reached and local MPs had pledged support for the cause.

In his speech, Unitech SRC president Eddie Nagual says, “the fight taken is for now and the future. A fight to uproot corruption starting at Unitech. The administration remains closed and no negotiations unless a possible change.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

SRC Information Booklet about UNITECH saga

The SRC has published this booklet. Who said the students don't know what the UNITECH saga is all about?



Here you can download it.


PNG student movement song

A former UNITECH student, now in Canada, made this sad song about corruption and the lack of development - improvement in health and education - in PNG since independence in 1975 (39 years ago) http://t.co/t6bs76pa7O.

How cool is that?


Monday, 17 March 2014

Final Word on my Doctorate

(Lately, again in the media in Papua New Guinea questions have been raised about my academic credentials. I hope that is the end of it now. In any case, anyone interested could have asked the dear professor, and received a similar email.

The European Institute was set up in 1976 in Fiesole, near Florence in Italy as an elite social science research institute of the European Commission. It is widely recognized as a top research institute in world wide.  It counts about 1.000 researchers in 4 departments, all at PhD level.

By statute, it is an inter-governmental organisation and is therefore not in most university rankings. It has exchange agreements with many top universities such as LSE, Harvard etc., which is how I spent 3 months at the LSE and Prof. Williamson was sitting on my Thesis Committee.

AS)

Original: Email
Harvard logo, VERITAS = TRUTH in Latin

Jeffrey Williamson <jwilliam@fas.harvard.edu>
17 March 2014 21:51
Reply-To: jwilliam@fas.harvard.edu
To: chiefsecoffice@pmnec.gov.pg

Cc: Albert Schram <albertschram@gmail.com>

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neill

Papua New Guinea Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc



Dear Honored Gentlemen:

I understand that the educational credentials of Vice Chancellor at Papua New Guinea Institute of Technology Doctor Albert Schram are being challenged by political elements in your country.

I can assure you that Dr. Schram received his doctorate from the European University Institute in November 1994. I know because I was there as one of the examiners.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey G. Williamson
Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Harvard University
Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53703 USA email: jwilliam@fas.harvard.edu

Students refuse to allow staff into office | PNG Edge

Original: Students refuse to allow staff into office | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Sally Pokiton on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 16:38




A forum held yesterday at the University of Technology by the Pro Vice Chancellor Micah Vines failed when students refused to allow skeleton staff into the administration building to process their pay.

Vines told students to allow bursary staff and the skeleton staff excluding the senior executive managers (SEM) to run the financial system to pay staff as well as the catering company which provides students with meals on campus.

In an attempt to get students to return to class, Mr Vines told students to either return to classes or the minister responsible for Higher Education will appoint a new interim council.

Postcourier: clueless

(Comment: If it were not a sad indication of the state of press freedom in PNG, it would be funny to see how the Postcourier in its editorial on 29 January asks for my return against the wishes of the government, and today does the opposite.

In its editorial on 17 March suddenlty it supports the PM and no longer endorses my position as Vice-Chancellor. It says the consequence of closing the university are dire for the students. The whole logic of a class boycott, hoewever, is that the consequences are even more dire for the government.


As the correctly PM says, the Council is my employer and in PNG the Council is autonomous. So no member of the government of civil service can hire or fire Vice-Chancellors. The reason for this that in a democracy it is important to protect academic freedom and university autonomy.

For this reason there is no vacancy for Vice-Chancellor at the PNG University of Technology, because I am still employed by the Council. I also fail to see how creating a new Council contributes in any manner towards a solution of the stalemate between the government and the Council. It will merely multiply the number of legal claims and counter-claims.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A year of no progress on my return to UNITECH

I was deported unlawfully twice on 8 February and 9 March 2013 from Papua New Guinea, while holding a valid employment visa. I was not issues any deportation order or any other written notice. I was simply refused entry without a reason.

In his letter dated 11 March 2013, over 1 year ago, UNITECH Chancellor Sir Nagora Bogan expresses his dismay at the travel ban imposed on me. This ban has not been lifted until today. Many letters and meetings followed, to no avail.

Sir Nagora Bogan, Chancellor of the PNG University of Technology
In the letter he says: "(The Vice-Chancellor Dr. Schram) is ... a victim of a grandiose vindictive action orchestrated principally by members of the former Council when he started the process to restore proper governance and audit the accounts of the University."

An the government's response? On 14 March they cancelled the Vice-Chancellors employment visa.

Thank you Chancellor, for working continuously to facilitate my return. We will never give up.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Students muster support from National Union of Students NUS | PNG Edge

Original Students muster support from NUS | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Julianna Waeda on Sat, 03/15/2014 - 18:39
Entrance to UNITECH administration building
Students at the University of Technology look to be boosting their show of strength by reaching out to their counterpart universities to join their protest.

Most Read Blog Posts Ever

3 Posts in the top 5 were from the last 2 weeks.

No Witch Hunt at UNITECH Feb 28, 2013:  
722 reads

Papua New Guinea University of Technology Opening ... Jan 31, 2014, 10 comments
580 reads

PM must set uni on right path | The National Mar 7, 2014, 2 comments
439 reads

Dr Schram must return as Vice Chancellor: Bogan | ...Mar 11, 2014
360 reads

Full disclosure #2: Why the Sevua Investigation Team did not interview me

The PM's press statement last week mentions I did not attend the Sevua Investigation interview at the scheduled time.

I did my very best to attend the Sevua Investigation Team interview, which according to the schedule published in the newspaper was on Wednesday 10 April 2013, at 9 am. A few days earlier, I had sent a personal messenger to the Sevua Investigation team who delivered my written response to the team's questions. It was of course in my interest to give my part of the story, after so many attempts in the media to cast doubt on my good name.

Full disclosure #1: my academic credentials

Last weeks press statement by Minister Gore and the Prime Minister again cast doubt upon my academic credentials.



Day #9 UNITECH Boycott: Authorized Student Demonstrations for Justice, Transparancy and Change at UNITECH Go Nation Wide

Wabag Demonstration
Enga province awareness campaign

Chimbu demonstration
Mendi awareness campaign

Friday, 14 March 2014

UNITECH investigation finds criminal negligence in management of funds | PNGexposed Blog

Original: UNITECH investigation finds criminal negligence in management of funds | PNGexposed Blog
March 12, 2014

A official investigation (order by the former Council in 2012 AS) at the University of Technology into the management of Public Investment Programme funds has found serious instances of mismanagement and criminal negligence involving senior staff and a former Vice Chancellor.

PM backs Minister's call to students | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge



Original: PM backs Minister's call to students | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Joy Kisselpar on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:31




Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has reinforced the stand by Higher Education Minister Delilah Gore that the University of Technology will shut down if students do not return to classes.

O’Neill told reporters that Minister Gore has laid out a way forward and the government will support her.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Final warning to students at Unitech | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: Final warning to students at Unitech | PNG Edge
Freddy Mou on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 18:12




The action of the students at the PNG University of Technology in closing down the administration including the ushering of the Acting Vice Chancellor out from his office is unbecoming of future leaders of this country, says Higher Education Minister Delilah Gore.

She said such behaviour was unprecedented in Papua New Guinea and universities around the world.

MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology (13 March 2014)

Here is the text of the Press Statement released by OHE this afternoon. Last time I checked, there was no vacancy for Vice-Chancellor at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology. She has not power to appoint or dismiss Vice-Chancellors in Papua New Guinea.

I assume the Hon. Minister is referring to my person as “Albert Schram”. I prefer to be called Dr. Albert Schram in official correspondence, since I worked very hard to obtain this title. My colleagues often call me Dr. Albert.

I am still looking forward to talking with, or meeting the Minister Gore one day.

Hon. Ms. Delilah Gore, MP, Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology
"
(letterhead)

Media Release. Hon. Ms. Delilah Gore, MP, Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology

STUDENTS' ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS AT THE PNG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY IN LAE

The action of the students at the PNG University of Technology (UNITECH) in closing down the administration including the ushering of the Acting Vice Chancellor out from his office is unbecoming of future leaders of this country. Such behaviour is unprecedented in Papua New Guinea and Universities around the world. What the nation saw can be best described as a shameful act, not reflective of the nation's core value and respect for the Rule of Law.

Vice-Chancellor Message to the Protesting Students (13 March 2014)

I am very proud of UNITECH students who are keeping their protests peaceful, despite provocations, and raising awareness for the key issues across PNG. They have stood up for Justice, transparancy and transformation at UNITECH to stop corruption, political interference and complacency. They have said "NO" when they were tempted into participating in wrong sided things.

Meanwhile, we are working hard now with Chancellor Sir Nagora to establish meaningful dialogues with key stakeholders. This will hopefully lead  to a solution of the present stalemate, if all parties contain their reactions and pursue peaceful options.

We are hoping and praying everything will be over soon, and we can all return to do our respective duties.


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

‘Schram will open gates’ students say | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: ‘Schram will open gates’ students say | PNG Edge
Sally Pokiton on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:31




The main gate will not be opened because we are boycotting says Unitech SRC president Edddie Nagual.

The SRC president was issued a letter from the administration today to have the main gate open for the free flow of public and pedestrians as well as motor vehicles so staff and students movements are not inconvenienced.

Text of the Original SRC Petition and Media Statement of 5 March 2014

For those of you who never sighted the Media Statement released on the 5th of this month:

The Papua New Guinea University of Technology
Student Representative Council

MEDIA STATEMENT

THE RETURN OF DR. ALBERT SCHRAM, VICE CHANCELLOR OF THE PNG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

By virtue of the powers granted to Student Representative Council of The Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNG UOT SRC), as stipulated within the PNG UOT SRC Constitution, the PNG UOT SRC - in its Special Full Council Meeting held at 9:00am on Monday the 3rd Day of March 2014 at the SRC Complex Taraka Main Campus - has unanimously resolved to petition the Office of the Prime Minister & the National Executive Council to honor the recommendations of the Sevua Investigation which was sanctioned by the Prime Minister in January 2013, by carrying out the functions and responsibilities within the framework of plans, provisions and recommendations necessary in ensuring the successful resumption of Dr. Albert Schram as the legitimate Vice Chancellor of the University.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Students want Schram’s visa fast-tracked | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: Students want Schram’s visa fast-tracked |PNG Edge
Sally Pokiton on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 06:57




Student leaders at Unitech have called on the Minister for Higher Education to assist them fast track Dr Schram’s work permit as he has already been re-instated by the Unitech interim council last December.

The students expressed dissatisfaction over talks held at NARI and not on campus last Thursday when the minister was in Lae.

Dr Schram must return as Vice Chancellor: Bogan | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: Dr Schram must return as Vice Chancellor: Bogan | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Joy Kisselpar on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 20:54




Chancellor and chairman of the University of Technology Council Sir Nagora Bogan says the only way to defuse the crisis caused by students presently is to bring back Dr Albert Schram.

He told PNG Edge that the interim council is standing by its decision to reinstate Dr Schram as the vice chancellor and it is critical now that the government fast tracks his visa application.

Students force 48 hour closure | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge



Original: Students force 48 hour closure | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Titi Gabi on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 15:02



Boycotting students at Lae’s University of Technology have forced the administration to close for 48 hours.

That started a few hours ago and will go until Thursday.

Students lobby support through awareness | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge



Original: Students lobby support through awareness | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Sally Pokiton on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:04





Student provincial groups at the University of Technology have started travelling to the Highlands region including the Prime Minister's home base of Pangia to carry out awareness in lobbying support.

SRC president Eddie Nagual told PNG Edge late last night (Monday night) the students from Jiwaka, Enga and Western Highlands had left the campus for the awareness tour.

I want justice to prevail: Naru | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge

Original: I want justice to prevail: Naru | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Cedric Patjole on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:37




Morobe Governor Kelly Naru says he wants to see justice prevail over the University of Technology saga now or else the issue will never be solved.

In an interview with PNG Edge, Governor Naru said that justice would only be realised when the Government made public the Sevua Report and implement its recommendations.

WHY ARE UNITECH STUDENTS AND SRC SO ADAMENT FOR THE RETURN OF DR. ALBERT SCHRAM?

From: The Papua New Guinea University of Technology official SRC Facebook Page
Many Papua New Guineans out there may be wondering the Unitech Saga and current boycott at Unitech, chanting “NO SCHRAM, NO SCHOOL” is just another mere show of students’ immaturity like those back in the yonder years. Few people have already commenting in various social media that students should return to class, etc. I was physically there back in 2012, when it all started at Unitech main gate when the former Chancellor was trying to escape from students after serving Dr. Schram the illegal and most absurd termination letter.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Gore Flags Action Against Defiant Unitech Staff And Students - EM TV

My Comment on the Minister's Press Statement



This press statement is utterly confused. The position of the government remains unclear. First of all, UNITECH staff is not on strike. It would be unfair to punish them for something they did not do. The threatening tone of the statement however will be noted, and contributes little towards solving the stalemate.

Friday, 7 March 2014

PM must set uni on right path | The National

(It is not often we get an endorsement from the National. Regrettably, the government seems to think otherwise and is seen to support those who have discredited themselves in the eyes of all UNITECH stakeholders. AS).

Original: PM must set uni on right path | The National
Source: The National, Wednesday March 5th, 2014

THE controversy surrounding reinstated PNG University of Technology vice-chancellor Dr Albert Schram is far from over.



It took a new twist this week when the Unitech student body petitioned the O’Neill Government to honour the recommendations of the Sevua commission of inquiry report.

It seems Schram has been blacklisted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and cannot re-enter the country until he gets clearance from the Government.

UNITECH the remedy and the stakes

Day #4 of the class boycott.

Apparently, the demonstrations are against corruption, and for transparent leadership, transformation and positive, tangible change on the ground.

It could have been over a long time ago. Student paying the price, continuing to loose out on quality higher education, and a learning experience. It is sad.

Placards at UNITECH gate 5 March 2014


Higher education under violent attack in 28 countries - University World News

Original: Higher education under violent attack in 28 countries - University World News

Attacks on higher education institutions, students and staff are much more widespread than previously thought, according to a study published last Thursday by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.

The study, Education Under Attack 2014, is the most comprehensive yet on the issue of violent attacks against schools, universities, students, teachers, academics, education officials and education trade unionists worldwide by armed groups, armed forces and security forces.


The study found that attacks on higher education were reported in 28 out of 30 countries profiled. Attacks damaged or destroyed university and college buildings in 17 of the 30 countries.

“Education facilities, students and staff are not just caught in the crossfire,” said Diya Nijhowne, director of the Global Coalition. “Many individuals are deliberately burned, shot, threatened and abducted, and many institutions are deliberately attacked.”

The Global Coalition members include the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), Human Rights Watch, the Institute of International Education, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict – a programme of Education Above All, Save the Children, the Scholars at Risk Network, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO had previously published two global studies on such attacks, but the latest study is far more comprehensive in its reporting of two areas: attacks on higher education and the military use of education facilities, which makes them a potential target for attack by opposing forces.

Although many attacks on higher education occur in countries in conflict, many others occur in situations without a recognised conflict, under a repressive or undemocratic regime.

The types of attack include the shelling of university buildings; the bombing and shooting of groups or the killing of individual students and academics in targeted attacks; deaths and injuries caused by the use of excessive force, particularly against protesters; and arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and torture of students, academics and trade unionists.

There were also incidents of universities being taken over or shut down by force. In some cases university buildings were used as military bases, barracks or firing positions.

These attacks were carried out both by government armed forces, security forces or police and by armed non-state groups, including guerrillas, rebels, paramilitaries and militias.

Serious incidents

Some of the most serious incidents involved raids carried out on student dormitories or other forms of campus residence in Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria.

For instance, in September 2013 gunmen stormed a dormitory in the middle of the night at a college in Yobe, Nigeria, and opened fire, killing at least 50 students.

In Ethiopia, in June 2012 security forces reportedly stormed dormitories and arrested engineering students at Haramaya University in Oromia to break up a demonstration and held them outside without food for two days.

The country that was perhaps the most affected by incidents against higher education was Sudan, where 15 students were killed in 2009-12 and 479 injured due to excessive force used by security forces, mainly in protests starting on campus and protests about education. At least 1,040 students were arrested and some were tortured by national security forces

In one incident on 11 December 2012, during protests at Omdurman Islamic University in Khartoum over tuition fees, around 140 students were arrested, another 180 injured and 450 student rooms were burned down, allegedly by security agents and supporters of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party.

Some of the most lethal incidents took place in Syria, where in January 2013 two explosions at Aleppo University killed 82 students and staff and wounded up to 150, and a mortar attack at Damascus University in March killed 10 students and wounded 20 others.

There were attacks on higher education facilities – damaging, destroying or threatening university buildings in 17 countries: Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In Nigeria, at least 15 universities were reported to have received an email message in September 2011, apparently from the violent militant Islamist movement Boko Haram, warning that their campuses were on a target list for bombings.

In Mexico, parcel bombs were sent to six university campuses or research institutes, in some cases causing injury. The attacks were reportedly by a group opposing nanotechnology research, which also threatened six other universities.

Motives

The motives behind attacks are often difficult to prove because the perpetrators are rarely investigated or brought to trial.

However, as the Scholar Rescue Fund has reported, many attacks on higher education appear to be connected to a government’s desire to prevent the growth of opposition movements, restrict political debate or criticism of policies, and prevent alternative points of view from being expressed or gaining support.

Others relate to government authorities’ wish to restrict education trade union activity, silence student protests, prevent certain subjects being researched by academics – ranging from human rights issues to concerns about HIV-Aids – or limit the influence of, or exposure to, foreign ideas.

Education Under Attack 2014 also documented many cases of sectarian attacks and ethnic groups being targeted.

In addition, attacks on higher education were carried out as a show of strength or in retaliation for military gains unrelated to education, the study found.

For instance, the Pakastani Taliban said it launched a double suicide bombing on the International Islamic University in Islamabad on 20 October 2009, which killed two female and three male students, in retaliation for a Pakistani army offensive in South Waziristan.

The study said the effects of attacks can be devastating for research and teaching because they trigger retreat, fear and flight and may silence a whole academic community. Attacks may also limit the subjects that can be studied or researched, restrict international collaboration and undermine the university as a learning institution.

“They have wider consequences for society, too, in restricting development, particularly the emergence or strengthening of political plurality, accountable government and open democracy,” the study said.

Key recommendations

Its key recommendations include a call for more and better monitoring of the scale and impact of attacks on higher education.

The study also calls on all states to promote the security and autonomy of higher education institutions at all times, and prevent violence and intimidation against academics.

“To this end, states should encourage, within higher communities and society generally, a culture of respect for institutional autonomy, including rejection of external ideological or political interference,” the study says.

“Suitable measures may include new policies, regulations and laws that promote both institutional autonomy and the security of higher education communities.”

* Brendan O’Malley was the lead researcher for Education Under Attack 2014 (Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack) and author of two previous Education Under Attackstudies published by UNESCO in 2007 and 2010.



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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

UNITECH Students demonstrating and marching (4 March 2014)

UNITECH Students demonstrating and marching (4 March 2014)

O’Neill urged to lift ban | The National


Original O’Neill urged to lift ban | The National

THE University of Technology Student Representative Council has petitioned the government to lift the ban to process the employment visa, work permit and passport of ousted vice-chancellor Dr Albert Schram.

The student body demanded Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to intervene and guarantee Schram’s safety by granting him the right of safe passage from overseas to the Unitech campus in Lae.

These demands are in a 48-hour ultimatum starting today.

Papua New Guinea Blogs: HERST Minister Gore, Solving Unitech Saga Is Simple

Original: Papua New Guinea Blogs: HERST Minister Gore, Solving Unitech Saga Is Simple

Peaceful and dignified student demonstration "No Schram, No School".
Hon Minister, you have assumed the Ministry of perhaps the most important department for our nation's future in a time of crisis. Congratulations on your appointment!

In your acceptance speech you said that you would make solving Unitech Saga your top priority. What is worrisome is that you also said that it is too early to give details of your plans on how to solve the crisis.

Minister Gore, time is running out. The deadline set by the Unitech Council for Albert Schram to come back is only weeks away. You too will be accused of using delaying tactics unless you have a plan ready to go within the next few days. Hopefully, being appointed Minister of HERST means that you take a keen interest in PNG higher education and have been following Unitech Saga to some extent.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Papua New Guinea Blogs: A united front is required to set Unitech on a new direction

(This was published last week. It contains relevant reflections and reminders for today's situation at UNITECH. Indeed only when we work together can we make UNITECH live up to the promise contained in its mission.

Today, we can see that that all those associated with Mr. Arore, Gehlot and Saulep's evil schemes met their downfall. Those who collaborated with them or enabled their delaying tactics must feel silly now. The power of civil society activism facilitated by social media, where media are not paying attention, is indeed great.

Let's hope now the employment visa I requested in August 2013 will be granted, and I will be invited back into the country as Vice-Chancellor of UNITECH.

We also hope that those adversaries who were sidelined or exposed in their incompetence or ineffectiveness, will move on, get a life and refrain from the traditional pay-back. They only have themselves and their own actions or lack thereof to blame. AS)

Original: Papua New Guinea Blogs: A united front is required to set Unitech on a new direction
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
By PNGBLOGS

A Fundamental Truth About Activism

The title of this article is nothing more than the most famous statement ever made by Margaret Mead. Mead was a well known American anthropologist who carried out research in the Trobriands and on Manus. She was not an activist by profession, yet she is best remembered for this statement. It not only explains in a nutshell how change takes place in the world, but inspires thoughtful, committed citizens to stop being passive observers and start taking charge.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

From EMTV: Unitech Students: NEC Return Schram - YouTube

Unitech Students: NEC Return Schram - YouTube


Regrettably, staff organisations and students have not been taken seriously by the government ever since April 2012. The government preferred to listen to other people and act on their advice. It can clearly be seen now these people were lying to protect the own interests.

The saga should have ended in June 2013 when the PM received the Sevua investigation report. Minister Arore did not do anything, however, rather made matters worse by making unwise public statements. With his dismissal on the 24 February, he finally paid the political price for his actions.

Tomorrow, the old Council members are still taking action through the courts. When is the UNITECH saga going to end?

Still no news on my employment visa.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

From Times Higher Education - Opinion: Leaders, use your head for more than wearing a crown



Original: Opinion: Leaders, use your head for more than wearing a crown | Opinion | Times Higher Education
Feb. 27, 2014

Even Machiavelli’s advice to princes spoke to the value of emotional intelligence, argues Paula Nicolson




Source: Dale Edwin Murray


University leadership is not a personal fiefdom. As vice-chancellor, senior manager, chief administrator, lecturer or union rep you are part of a system

The advice of Niccolò Machiavelli might not be something most rank-and-file academics would want their superiors to embrace.