A dean of a prestigious school in the United States has come to the defense of Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughter Aika amid online attacks aimed at making Harvard University reconsider its decision to admit her as a graduate student.
New York University Dean for Science Michael Purugganan said Harvard University accepts students solely based on merit.
“I am a dean of a major US university. Just in case you didn’t know, all graduate admissions at Harvard and Oxford are strictly on merit, and if you get admitted to graduate school on scholarship (like she did) you are automatically given free tuition plus a stipend that is about $30 K a year so that you can attend school,” he said in the comments thread of a Facebook post dated April 11 by a group known as We Are Collective Backup V2.
Purugganan suggested Harvard gives a stipend higher than the $30,000 awarded by NYU to its scholars since it is “10 times richer” than his school based on its endowment.
“And just in case you want to know, Harvard (or my university NYU) couldn’t care less about the parents – what we care about is the record of the student,” he said.
We Are Collective Backup V2 is reportedly the source of a smear campaign to stop Aika from studying at Harvard.
Its post last April was a “sample letter” for the Ivy League school to rethink its admission of the Vice President’s daughter into the Harvard Kennedy School as member of the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration.
Aika was named an Edward S. Mason Fellow for the class of 2018.
In the letter, the group said Aika’s mother cannot afford to pay for her studies since she only declared a net worth of $160,000 in her latest Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.
“What worries us is that Mrs Robredo might be using ill-gotten funds sourced from drugs and illegal gambling and plundered from the Filipino people to finance Jessica Marie’s graduate studies,” the group said.
Robredo called the allegation unfair in a forum on May 6 not only because they were baseless, but because Aika was going to Harvard on a scholarship or on her own talents.
“You know, how much hatred iyong pinasok doon… you know the viciousness, nakapasok iyong mga bata without any help from me. Nakapasok tapos ipapa-recind mo lang. Kasi nakaw na yaman tsaka drugs iyong pinanggalingan nung ipapaaral sa anak ko,” the Vice President said.
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