By MALUM NALU in Kavieng
HISTORY will be made in sleepy Kavieng, New Ireland province, today when five students, including two females, graduate with bachelor’s degrees in fisheries and marine resources from PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE), formerly the University of Vudal.
The graduation will mark a new era in the higher education sector of Papua New Guinea as it reintroduces into the workforce, fisheries and marine resources graduates.
The country’s last strictly-fisheries degree graduates graduated in 1983 from the University of Technology in Lae, Morobe province.
The programme then became a part of the University of PNG’s marine biology curriculum; hence, today’s graduation marks a milestone achievement for higher education and paves the way forward for the fisheries industry, both in PNG and the South Pacific.
While the programme’s first seven diploma students graduated last year, today’s ceremony will mark its coming of age and the culmination of the effort of various institutions in PNG and abroad, particularly Germany.
National Fisheries Authority (NFA), PNG UNRE, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), University of Bremen’s Centre for Marine Tropical Ecology (ZMT) and the Office of Higher Education (OHE), all contributed in their
various capacities towards the successful establishment and administering of the academic course.
Guests at today’s graduation in Kavieng will include Fisheries Minister Ben Semri, New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, NFA managing director Sylvester Pokajam, UNRE Chancellor Sir Rabbie Namaliu and UNRE Vice-Chancellor Prof Philip Siaguru.