Professor Frank Griffin made this statement during the recent Toktok Bilong Strongim Nesen series that was held at UPNG.
Professor Griffin was confirmed as vice-chancellor of UPNG in early May following infighting between academics and the interim UPNG Council in March.
Though he is still new in the role, he is not a stranger to UPNG, having been the Executive Dean of the School of Natural Sciences from 2009 to 2013. And now as the VC, he has expressed, first and foremost, the need to improve existing systems.
“To make sure that the students, in particular, their issues are addressed in a professional manner and making sure that they do have all the resources that they need to be able to train professionally, to get a good education.”
The vice-chancellor says the institution will aim to prepare students for a world that is rapidly evolving.
“It’s not about getting a qualification and then you think you have all of it,” he said. “The world is changing at a very fast rate and our job is to prepare them so that they can fit into society and develop themselves as they’re going forward.
“Our job now is to actually find out from the workforce out there on what it is that they need from our products. That’s the baseline from which we can start to plan to improve our courses, to make sure that the products that we are putting out there, the graduates, are workplace ready and relevant to what they are supposed to be doing.”
In terms of modernising the way UPNG operates, Prof Griffin says they are in the process of improving the infrastructure so that students can have much better access to the latest editions of textbooks and journals. And though the institution lacks resources, the vice-chancellor says they have to be innovative in the way they generate resources for their daily operations.
Professor Griffin was part of the panel that included the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Queensland, Professor Peter Høj. Their discussions centred around the theme: ‘Innovators and Educators: Opportunities and Challenges for Modern Universities’.
(Vice-chancellor of UPNG, Prof Frank Griffin)