Govt to get tough on uni issues

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 1st May 2013


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday warned that the government would come down hard on the sorry state of events at tertiary institutions around the country.

He said this following recent disruptions by students at two state universities – the PNG University of Technology in Lae and University of Goroka – and governance issues at the University of Natural Resources and Environment.

“Such incidents are bringing Papua New Guinea higher education into disrepute,” he said.

“Each fresh outburst damages the reputation of the university and tarnishes the prospects of its graduates.

“Now is the time for the government to take a firm hand, to put an end to this sorry series of events.”

O’Neill said the government would require:

l The introduction of a new higher education legislation to give the relevant minister powers of intervention in situations;

l University governing bodies to conform to a governance manual;

l Full disclosure of financial and operational matters by university management to governing body and Office of Higher Education;

l A more business-like management of universities;

l Institutions to undergo regular external quality assurance reviews;

l Students to be aware of responsibilities and rights, as well as be accountable for damage and harm they cause; and

l Improving of university management.

“We must all work together for strong, fair, and accountable governance and management in our universities,” O’Neill said.