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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 25, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Women studying at the University of Papua New Guinea received top marks from their vice chancellor during graduation ceremonies.

Women had a better academic performance, completed their degree programs quicker and got into less trouble than their male counterparts, Vice Chancellor Professor Les Eastcott said.

More than 700 people were awarded degrees, diplomas and higher degrees at two ceremonies.

"This year, only one-third of the UPNG student population was women," Professor Eastcott said.

"Yet, overall, our women have better grade point averages than the men, and they appear to complete their degrees quicker. Relatively less disciplinary action is taken against women.

"It is the university’s intention to increase the percentage of women enrolled. It is no longer good enough in this modern world for rewards and benefits to flow solely because you are a man. Performance brings with it rewards."

He said academic excellence could only occur when a university’s academic regulations were followed. He described a university’s failure to get its students to comply with its regulations as "corrupt practice."

He said students who used threats, pressure and harassment to "manipulate" the system to avoid hard work and meet the required performance were also corrupt.

The University of Papua New Guinea would insist on compliance and performance from this year onwards.

"Entry to UPNG will get harder. You will have to be academically good to get into UPNG. If you cannot meet our standards then other options should be sought," Professor Eastcott said.

"We hope that the attempts of bribery and forgery by those wanting to get in without the qualifications this year cease in the future."

He said he set up the vice chancellor’s honor board to recognize the importance of academic excellence. He said the board would recognize outstanding academic achievement, especially students who had an overall grade point average of 3.5 or better

Thirteen students at UPNG received a GPA of 3.5 or better this year. The students would receive recognition for their achievement, including a K 200 (US$ 55.48) university bookshop voucher.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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