By KARI TOTONA
MANY Grade 12 school leavers have been denied admission into the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) despite having achieved the required grade point average (GPA).
UPNG school of law executive dean Dr John Luluaki confirmed in a statement last week that many students had missed out due to limited space.
He said the selection depended on two factors:
* The number of applicants who have met the minimum GPA for admission for the programme applied for; and
* The number of places available for school leavers for the year.
“For the Law degree, this is 2.75.
“For all other schools, it is 2.5, except for science-based programmes which require a minimum GPA of 3.00.
“The school of law has only 50 places this year.
“The number of places available is different for each school and programme.
“The places are determined with reference to various considerations such as priorities set by the Government, scholarships available and the capacity of the university to accommodate the number of students selected,” Dr Luluaki said.
The real problem, he said, begins when selecting from applicants who have met this minimum requirement who are to be given a place from the limited number of places available for the programme for the year.
“For example, where the 50th place in the Law degree programme was taken up by the school-leaver applicant who achieved a GPA of 3.6, then all those who obtained a GPA of between 2.75 (minimum GPA) and 3.5 will not be admitted.
“This is exactly what happened in the 2010
Law degree selection process,” he said.
“Therefore, satisfying the minimum admission GPA does not guarantee admission, it only qualifies the applicant to be considered for admission.
“After that, the question of admission depends almost entirely on the competition presented by the GPAs obtained by all applicants,” Dr Luluaki said.
As a parent, he said, it grieves him to see many eligible young citizens being denied the opportunity to contribute to the development of the country by denying the very tool they required.
Dr Luluaki said he hoped to see some changes next year with higher intakes and the capacity to offer quality education for citizens who meet the academic criteria.