The Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST), as the agency responsible for oversight of higher education in Papua New Guinea, would like to inform the general public that it is deeply concerned about the continued student boycott at the University of Papua New Guinea and the three other state universities in the country.

Our interest is to salvage as many tertiary education study opportunities as possible for the remainder of the academic year. We recognize that students and their parents have made significant sacrifices in terms of their money, efforts and time, and many students are still hopeful of realizing a bright future through the attainment of tertiary education qualifications.

UPNG Update

DHERST was informed this Monday that the University Council of UPNG, after consultation with its Academic Senate, has decided that it will need to indefinitely suspend Semester 1 in order to salvage the academic year for 2016.

At a date to be confirmed, the UPNG will then recommence Semester 1 from where the Semester was disrupted, and students will undertake their assessment as per original plans. Semester 2 will then commence shortly thereafter, to compensate for lost time.

The UPNG campus is therefore closed. All students must vacate the campus, including the dormitories, during the suspension period. Students will be notified by UPNG of the date for resuming studies as soon as this is finalized.

In light of these UPNG developments, DHERST would like to make the following announcement to university students:

UPNG students on TESAS Scholarships

During the suspension period, TESAS Scholarship awardees have two main options:

  • To use their DHERST-funded return air ticket or transport allowance to return home. Flight arrangements can be made by contacting your local Air Nuigini Office. In this case, scholarship awardees will need to fund their own transportation to get back to the campus and to return home at the end of the academic year.
  • To remain in Port Moresby and make their own accommodation arrangements at their own cost.
YOUR CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS UNDER TESAS

The Government of PNG (GoPNG) expects TESAS Awardees :

  1. To devote their time and effort primarily to academic pursuits.
  2. Must at all times behave in a proper manner,
    • by abiding by their institution’s regulations,
    • aspiring to meet the expectations of an academic environment,
    • where there is order and,
    • respect for State authority and State and institutional property,
    • and also respect for individual rights and freedom, provided under the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.

In accepting a TESAS Award, you agreed to comply with these TESAS Terms and Conditions.

The GoPNG reserves the right to terminate the TESEAS Award, if you breach, or not comply with these Terms and Conditions.

Furthermore, the GoPNG may terminate a TESAS Award where an Awardee:

  1. Is excluded by the institution from their program due to academic failure or misconduct (as defined by the institution):
  2. Is deemed by DHERST not to have complied with the TESAS Terms and Conditions; or
  3. Conducts themselves in a manner that DHERST has deemed to bring disrepute to the GoPNG or to have transgressed PNG community standards, including but not limited to breaches of national law.

You should be aware GoPNG reserves the right to terminate a TESAS Award without supporting recommendation from the relevant institution.

And you should also note if your TESAS Award is terminated for any reason, you are not eligible to apply for a new TESAS Award until at least two years after the award termination date.

Any TESAS Scholarship Awardees who have any queries, may contact DHERST by telephone, 301 2078, 301 2092, 301 2065, or email: tesas@dherst.gov.pg .

First year students on TESAS Scholarships

These first year students should be aware that, should they choose to withdraw from their studies this year, any application for a TESAS scholarship to study next year will be assessed in combination with this year’s estimated 28,000 Grade 12 School Leavers. There is also no guarantee of admission and enrollment in 2017.

Second and following year students on TESAS Scholarships

Continuing students should also note that they will need to reapply for a TESAS Scholarship for 2017 and there is no guarantee of success.

University students at UNITECH, UNRE and UoG

Each University has its own University Council and Academic Senate which is responsible for their own governance decisions. DHERST remains hopeful that the disruption in this Semester for the remaining three universities can be resolved in a manner whereby the inconvenience felt by students, their parents, academics, university staff and the wider community is minimized.

DHERST remains hopeful that as many students as possible will be able to continue their academic studies in 2016.

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Patricia Morea

Patricia is the Manager – Corporate Governance and has been with the department since 2007.

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