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Seated L-R: Mr. Vincent Malaibe (Pro VC-PD&IR), Prof Albert Mellam (Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Nicholas Mann (Acting Chancellor), Mr. Jerry Wemin (Acting Pro-Chancellor), Prof Mange Matui (Acting Pro VC-ASA), and Senior Executive Officers, Directors, and Senior Academics on Motupore Island, 27/10/16.
 
The current University of Papua New Guinea Strategic Plan (2008-2017) was reviewed during two consultative workshops in 2016 and 2017. The workshops were facilitated through open dialogue between the Senior Executive Officers (SEOs) and the University Council. According to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Albert Mellam, this was a strategic action by the University to involve the Council Members in charting the next ten to twenty years of Higher Education service to the nation and the neighbouring Pacific Island Countries. Acting Chancellor, Dr. Nicholas Mann, and Acting Pro-Chancellor, Mr. Jerry Wemin, set the direction for the University through their presentations at the consultative workshop.
 
The first workshop was held on 26 -28 October, 2016, at the Lamana Hotel, and Motupore Island Research Centre respectively. External consultant, Mr. Noel Mobiha, was engaged by the University to provide his independent observations on the workshop proceedings. At the first workshop, external stakeholders were given the opportunity to present their perspectives on how the University should position itself during the next five to ten years. Notable external stakeholders include the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology (DHERST);the Research, Science and Technology Secretariat (RST); Australian High Commission (AHC); and the Institute of National Affairs (INA). Apart from the external stakeholders, the University Council, through the Acting Chancellor, Dr. Nicholas Mann, was given the opportunity to set the focus of the University for the next decade. He reflected on the past 50 years of Higher Education service to PNG, and the neighbouring Pacific Island Countries. He stressed that UPNG has come of age to maintain its legacy as the Premier University of the Pacific, and challenged the Schools and Support Divisions to be more innovative and creative in pursuit of greater self-reliance.
 
On the second and third day of the first workshop, senior staff from the five Schools, the Open College, and the University Research Centres did presentations on their performance during the last five (5) years highlighting their achievements, challenges, and recommendations. Focus group sessions were facilitated under the six Strategic Result Areas (SRAs) of the current University Strategic Plan. These areas included Teaching and Learning; Research and Postgraduate Studies; Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning; Promoting and Assuring Quality; Facilities, Support, and Resources; and Governance, Management, and Administration. Through the discussion sessions, two new Strategic Result Areas were proposed and adopted by the workshop participants, Value Creation through Intellectual and Physical Properties, and Information Communication Technology. The University’s Planning and Development Division collated all of the workshop proceedings that guided the drafting of the revised University Strategic Plan (2017-2021).
 
The second review workshop was held at the Motupore Island Research Centre on 31 March 2017. It was the final opportunity for the five Schools’ Executive Deans, the Open College Executive Director, two Open Campus Directors (Buka & Kokopo), Support Division Directors, Senior Academics, and the Central Administration to review the first draft of the revised University Strategic Plan (2017-2021). Acting Chancellor, Dr. Nicholas Mann, gave feedback on the first draft, and recommended changes to be integrated in the final version. Feedback from the final review workshop was then integrated into the Second Draft University Strategic Plan (2017-2021) and presented to the University Council on 27 April, 2017 for their comments and inputs. The University Council resolved to call a Special Standing Committee meeting in mid May 2017 to give their feedbacks on the Draft Strategic Plan. A revised University Strategic Plan (2017-2021) is expected to be ready for publication at the end of July 2017, with implementation to commence in 2018.
 

Student Services Division of the University organised a Student Debate Competition in September and October 2015 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the University of Papua New Guinea. Six teams participated in the preliminary round of the debate.

Each team consists of 4 participants. The topic for preliminary round was “The UPNG’s education in the next 50 years should be exclusively career oriented.” The best two teams were selected for the final round of the debate. The topic for the final round was “The UPNG education in the next 50 years should be globally competitive.”

Prof. Pulapa Subba Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs) congratulated the teams for their best performance. He stated that the teams debated most efficiently based on researched information, data, findings and suggestions. The University administration took note of all suggestions offered by the debaters.

Prof. Albert Mellam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea delivered keynote address at the Prize Distribution function organised at the Forum Square at 2.30pm on Monday 12th October 2015. He announced the teams who stood in the first place and the second place. The team consisting of Tony Deilala, Joshua Kidu , Kelly Samof and Methusela Wabiria stood in the first place. Team consisting of Steward Thoke , Leontine Ivano, Sandy Kipan and Maison Marinki stood in the second position. Prof. Mellam distributed prizes and certificates to winners and the runner-up.

Prof. Albert Mellam, Vice-Chancellor the University of Papua New Guinea congratulated Prof. Pulapa Subba Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs) for taking initiative to organise the debate competitions in commensurate with the University’s Golden Jubilee celebrations most successfully. He thanked Mrs. Garua Peni, Director Student Services, Mrs. Margaret Au and Samuel Banake for organising the debate competitions most successfully.

Honourable Mr. Malakai Tabar, MP., Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science, & Technology, Independent State of Papua New Guinea has presented cheques worth of K60,000 to Mr. Joseph Sukwianonb, Chairperson, Waigani Seminar-2015 Committee towards sponsorship to the Waigani Seminar-2015 on 5th June 2015 in a meeting held at the Council room, The University of Papua New Guinea.

Honourable Mr. Malakai Tabar encouraged the researchers to present papers and research findings that have direct bearing on the lives, food habits, health, social issues and economy of the people of the country. He also stressed that the researchers should concentrate on practical applications of the research focus. Mr. Joseph Sukwianonb thanked the Honourable Minister for his support. Prof. Albert Mellam, Vice-Chancellor, the University of Papua New Guinea has briefed the Honourable Minister about the forthcoming conferences and events at the University of Papua New Guinea like PNG Update, Law Conference-2015 and 50 Years Celebrations Conference

A historical meet between the Vice Chancellors of State Universities was held in Lae at the University of Technology on Wednesday 20th May 2015.

Professor Albert Schram, the Vice Chancellor of the PNG University of Technology hosted the inaugural meeting attended by Professor Albert Mellam, Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea, and Associate Professor Michael Mel, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Goroka. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ora Renagi and Pro Vice Chancellors Dr. Augustine Moshi (Academic) and Dr. Kaul Gena (Administration) and Ms. Anna Wakana, Executive Officer to the VC supported Dr. Albert Schram, Vice Chancellor of the PNG UNITECH.

The UPNG Team included Professor Pulapa Subba Rao, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs) and Professor Steven Winduo, Director (Academic Audit Unit). Associate Professor Michael Mel, who is the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Goroka was the sole representative of the Institution. It was a very successful meeting for the Vice Chancellors of State Universities. The meeting was hailed as a promising platform for collective action on common issues affecting the state funded universities. Among other things, the Vice Chancellors OF State Universities were united in their resolve to work together to address issues of commonalities and open doors to active dialogue and support from within their institutional frameworks.

The meeting was special for the Vice Chancellors because it is important for them to ensure the state universities continue to keep performing their core functions of teaching, research, and learning against limited government funding. Among the agenda items discussed the Vice Chancellors talked about the importance of a financial model for public universities, the student management challenges, and the ICT platform for learning, especially with the Open and Distance Learning. The New Higher Education Act was discussed at length among the Vice Chancellors of State Universities. Salary review and academic matters such as the Quality Assessment Implementations were considered among the Vice Chancellors. The Vice Chancellors of the State Universities were satisfied with the outcome of the historical meeting.

They agreed to have three similar meetings annually. The UPNG Vice Chancellor, Professor Mellam, is very pleased with the open discussions and the course of actions the VCs agreed to take in addressing some of the issues discussed at this inaugural meeting. A guided tour of the Rainforest Habitat and a memorable garden luncheon in the Habitat greenery concluded the first meeting of the State Universities' Vice Chancellors.

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