The Ministry and Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MHERST and DHERST) hereby clarify to the general public and stakeholders, about the status of the Foundation Units currently offered at the Western Pacific University (WPU).
It was erroneously reported in The National Newspaper on Wednesday 27th January, 2021 that the accreditation for the foundation units was granted by the National Higher and Technical Education Board (NHTEB). This statement made by the former Secretary for DHERST, Fr Jan Czuba, is, in fact, inaccurate, and does not reflect the decision of the NHTEB.
NHTEB only endorsed the delivery of the foundation year units whilst awaiting the submission of a complete degree programme from the WPU. It is important that a complete programme is submitted to DHERST in order for external opinion to be sought from a programme specialist to determine the quality of the programme and decision-making by the NHTEB.
All universities are required to submit complete programmes to DHERST for validation to ensure alignment with the requirements of the National Standards for Programme Accreditation and the Papua New Guinea National Qualification Framework (PNGNQF). This is for consistency across the higher education sector. A complete programme means a programme that leads to a qualification and award under the PNGNQF.
This process is important as it assists DHERST in the awarding of Tertiary Education Study Assistance Scheme (TESAS) to programmes in accordance with TESAS Policy.
With the current reform in the Higher Education Sector, the Ministry and DHERST are very serious on addressing non-compliance by individuals, institutions and corporations involved in the business of higher education. The focus is to ensure higher standards are attained and quality output is produced by institutions.
Individuals, institutions, higher education and corporations involved in the business of Higher Education deliberately providing misleading or false information to the general public will now be subjected to prosecutions under the Act.
Penalties stipulated under the Higher Education (General Provisions) Act (2014) and the Higher Education (General Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2020 will be enforced on non-compliance by the higher education institutions going forward.
Higher education institutions are reminded again to fully comply with regulatory requirements in order to benefit from the TESAS and the Higher Education Loans Programme (HELP).
Approved for Release
Hon. Wesley Ora Raminai, MP
Minister for Sports & Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology
(Member for Kagua Erave)