UPNG VC: PNG tertiary sector reform underway

Reforming the higher education sector is critical to meeting the goals outlined in Papua New Guinea’s development plans, and is now moving forward, according to Dr Albert Mellam, Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).

Delivering the keynote address to the 2013 Pacific and PNG Update, Dr Mellam outlined not only the challenges but the reforms currently underway. The nationwide “home-grown” reform program was aiming to tackle a range of problems from poor salaries to governance weaknesses and ranged from legislative to management and funding reforms. Dr Mellam highlighted progress in particular underway at his University, which included downsizing of the University of PNG Council to a manageable size, undertaking of an academic audit, and ICT roll-out (including a new website).

Dr Mellam concluded his wide-ranging address by saying that: “The higher education landscape in PNG is going to change in a big way. I’m very positive about that because it is owned and driven by Papua New Guineans, based on global benchmarking.”

Dr Mellam’s presentation is available here and a podcast of his speech is available here. A video and a write-up will be available shortly.

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Stephen Howes

Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University.

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