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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 7) - The University of Papua New Guinea plans to reduce its intake by 70 students this year.

UPNG Registrar Vincent Malaibe said the move was necessary if the university was to provide adequate services within its 2004 budget of K28.7 million.

"The budget cut has forced us to allow 1,030 intakes instead of 1,100. We have maintained our entry Grade Points Average (GPA) of 2.75 for the schools of Natural/Physical Sciences, and Law/Business Studies, and 2.5 for Social Sciences and Humanities," he said.

Mr Maliabe said the situation would hurt prospective students, but the University had to do something to survive. He said that they had submitted for a budget of K33 million but got K28.7 million instead.

"This is just a figure increase from the K26.7 million in 2003 academic year as the extra K2million will be absorbed in to the new Bachelor in Nursing program. The Nursing program is the last program transferred to UPNG from the Health Department run College of Allied Health and Sciences at the Taurama campus."

Mr Malaibe said it costs about K15,000 to educate one UPNG student annually.

With current budget allocations, the University should have around 1,800 students from first years to Honors students on the campus.

But the current population is 3000, which means the other 1,200 students are there at the university’s own cost.

"To cater for 3000 students, K45 million is an ideal budget for the university," Mr Maliabe said.

He said the UPNG was facing shortages of facilities to cater for an increase in students.

He said with school leavers being pooled not only from the four national high schools but secondary schools as well, funds needed to be found to upgrade and expand facilities in the university to accommodate the increase in student population every year.

"If the government is serious in implementing its Education Reform that it must fund it," he said.

January 7, 2004

The National:


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