PNG'S FIFTH state-owned university and the seventh university in the country, the Western Pacific University has acquired a campus of more than 19 hectares from Ialibu landowners in the Southern Highlands at a cost of K15-million.
The landowners had demanded the government pay them K24-million but settled for the lower amount.
The land is now being developed to establish the administration block, students accommodations and other buildings.
Former Divine Word University president Professor Jan Czuba (pictured at left with construction workers), who has been appointed to head the new university, said the first phase of construction will cost the government about K42 million.
Prof Czuba said construction is underway and work should be completed by the end of this year to enable classes to start in 2017.
The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia is providing the management of the technological university which is aiming to enrol 6,000 students from PNG and the Pacific.
Western Pacific University aims to address PNG’s chronic higher education access problem.