THIS changes at the University of PNG announced by Higher Education Minister Pila Niningi last week have to be for the good of students and the taxpayers.
The higher education sector has many problems which require the intervention of the government.
Niningi must tell the universities and colleges that they cannot continue to be laid back and expect handouts from the government but they must generate revenue.
It is important to have money to upgrade lecture rooms etc and pay the their academics better.
The universities must upgrade their facilities and conditions to attract and retain the best brains, with Masters and PhDs to teach our children.
It was sad to see so many highly qualified senior academics with doctorates and Masters leaving UPNG and other universities for employment in the government and private sectors. The government must intervene and reverse this trend by improving terms and conditions for our academics.
It takes a lot of years and money for this highly experienced academics to be trained and to see them leave the universities is bad for the country.
The law and order problems in our country and lack of vital public services and utilities have also deterred good foreign academics from joining our universities.
Due to the above reasons, our students in the universities are being taught by people with basic first degrees and Masters with no real academic or research credentials.
This is going against the normal international practice and standards.
It is a requirement in universities in other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada that people who are recruited to teach in universities must have a Masters degrees or PhDs with strong academic and research profile and professional work experience.
Aa a parent I am worried that I am not getting value for money from the universities.
The lack of quality and professional standards in secondary and primary system is already bad enough and to get the same in universities is totally unfair.