ONE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA PROPOSED

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By Phil-Peers Yombon

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 12, 1999 - The National)---Papua New Guinea's Vice Minister for Science, Culture and Education, Dr. John Waiko, will present a submission before the National Executive Council to have only one national university in the country.

Dr. Waiko's proposed national university would take over the roles of the University of Technology, the University of Vudal, the University of Goroka, and the University of PNG.

Dr. Waiko's preparation of the policy submission was made after his meeting with Prime Minister Bill Skate in early January.

He said since higher education in the country was greatly affected by the Government's budget cuts, something positive had to be done to change the way the universities operate.

Dr. Waiko, formerly a professor in history at UPNG, said the current UPNG campus would offer programs in humanities, natural and medical sciences, and Unitech would continue to offer technological sciences. Likewise, the UOG would continue to offer education programs while UOV would concentrate on agriculture; but their separate administrations would be amalgamated.

"I am suggesting that serious consideration should be given to the development of small but effective campuses located in strategic regions, which are realistically aligned to the cultural and social dynamics of PNG society, emphasizing the communal and extended family approach to living and learning.

"Universities have a history of taking the lead in education and maintaining excellence and quality education in many countries, and PNG is no exception," he said.

"This national university will play a leading role in implementing the institutional partnership affiliation and accreditation policies approved by the Government in 1999."

Basic infrastructure and other assets owned by the state at the UPNG Waigani and Taurama campuses, Goroka and Vudal are strategically located and could be developed to provide quality university level education, he said.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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