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« Second expat vice-chancellor goes as PNG universities turn nasty | Main | Village on broken mountain - PNG quake plight continues »

20 August 2018

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Three down really, if you count the removal of the top tier of management from the University of Goroka in 2015.

The capers at the top distract from more basic facts PNG’s state universities are funded at a fraction of the level they were in 1975 (at 17th of the level according to one ex-prof https://johnmenadue.com/allan-patience-the-serious-under-development-of-papua-new-guineas-university-system/).

A colleague has been pursuing anything recent written on science education in PNG but, unless there is a hidden trove of unpublished PhDs somewhere that he hasn’t found, in the last 20 years the field seems to have gone dark.

It presages rather badly for the critical shortage of useful people like doctors, civil engineers, and properly qualified provincial disaster managers (Madang’s is a former seminarian). Nothing is surprising here.

We have polio back, such that several DWU staff needing to travel later in the year are going for boosters at Modilon this morning. Sadly to say, but the fifth funeral on our small campus for this year is scheduled for this afternoon.

Stark fact: members of our university die faster than we can graduate new ones with higher degrees to grow the teaching body. Four to five deaths is the average for the last six years.

At what point will PNG’s governmental idleness to provide for its own development future, coupled with emerging bio- and health threats, cause its regional neighbours to begin classing it as a menace to other countries in the region, I wonder.

Prof Howes has visited PNG and Lae many times in the past years, and has visited the campus and presented for the University Council.

His dire predictions, unfortunately, that the university will be unable to hire foreign academics are already happening, and one head of department and several staff have already left.

There is no free lunch, if you want to ride the horse of xenophobia and corruption, you will pay the price.

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