No funding increases for institutions

National, Normal

The National

HIGHER education institutions should not expect any increase in funding until after 2011, Office of Higher Education director general Dr William Tagis told the Huon seminar in Lae yesterday.
Dr Tagis said this was because under the Government’s Medium-Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2005-10 higher education had not been rated as a priority area for funding.
He made the comments after hearing from the University of Technology that funding for the higher institute’s post-graduate training and research programmes would be severely affected by the lack of funding from next year onwards.
This is because donor funding which has supported the programmes will end at the end of
this year.
Dr Tagis said funding for education was dictated to by the MTDS and the current MTDS did not recognise tertiary education as a major priority for funding.
However, he said that the situation would change when the extended MTDS rolled out in 2011.
Under the new MTDS (2011-15), higher education would be given priority for funding.
It is not known at this point in time what level of funding tertiary institutions will be receiving under the new MTDS.
Presently, all of Papua New Guinea’s universities – University of Technology, University of PNG, Goroka University, Divine Word University, UNRE and the Pacific Adventist University- run post-graduate programmes which require additional funding for research and development programmes.
After a lengthy presentation by Dr Tagis, various questions were raised about the quality of math and science education being received by Grade 12 students who enter universities after secondary school.
Various speakers said the quality of the university students depends on the quality of education received at the lower levels of education by the students.
They said it was a matter of grave concern and needed to be looked into.
This issue is expected to dominate discussions over the next two days which will be officially opened by Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio tomorrow.