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Nov 12, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

After a fee hike protest, Liberia's president George Weah announced that the University of Liberia and all public universities in the country would be tuition-free for all undergraduate students.

Why? To make Liberia a positive example to other African nations.

According to The African Exponent, during Weah's campaign for the presidency, he said, "I played football in Europe. I would have stayed in Europe and enjoyed my money, but I came to Liberia to redeem you from the bondage of hardships. See what I have done in this country in terms of development." 

Just a few months post-election, he has now declared all public universities free. 

In The East African, he explained that he came to his decision after meeting with university administration.

He said, "The students came in front of my office to complain that the administrators have increased the tuition in the school. I was not happy about that."

He added, "I was shocked when I was told that every semester about 20,000 (would-be students) go through the registration process, (but) only 12,000 attend.

"Furthermore, about 5,000 of the 12,000 who are in attendance are depending on some form of financial aids or scholarship. The rest of the students do not attend due to the lack of financial aid." 

He explained, "The inability of our young people to continue their education is very troubling."

This inspired his decision to make education available to all Liberians at no cost.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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