Mellam: Transformation critical for State-owned universities

Major transformation of academic programs and infrastructure is critical for the growth of all State-owned universities in Papua New Guinea.

UPNG vice chancellor Professor Albert Mellam called on Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Francis Marus, to work together with the universities for better results.

Mellam said the universities and institutions of higher education in this country are at the crossroads of their existence to secure a place in a highly competitive higher education sector globally.

Mellam highlighted a number of critical challenges that must be addressed in collaboration with all the stakeholders that make up the higher education sector in PNG.

He said the sector must rebuild and modernise the public universities’ infrastructure as it is critical for a conducive work and study environment for staff and students.

The sector needs to revisit and modernise some of the policies and operating systems to reflect the environment of the 21st century, such as an advanced ICT platform for teaching, learning and research.

Mellam said: “We should work collaboratively to design a template that can address access to university education for many students with vital selection and admission processes.

“A new generation of academics and administrator is needed as we have an aged workforce in the public universities and this must be addressed.”

Mellam added that even strengthening councils of universities is fundamentally critical in changing the status quo and changing leadership at that level to drive a modern thriving university sector in PNG. 

The State-owned universities are the University of PNG, University of Goroka, PNG University of Technology and PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment.

Picture courtesy of

Quintina Naime