For most of the third and final year programs that are offered at the University of Papua New Guinea, practicals and internships are compulsory for students, including the Accounting Practicum, for students studying the Bachelor of Accounting.

Air Niugini has, for the first time, accepted students to participate in their internship at its head office in Port Moresby. Air Niugini has accepted third year Accounting students, while others have been accepted by various organisations. The students are attached with Air Niugini’s Finance Department and will be there for the next four months as part of the requirement to complete their degree program.

The Executive Dean of the School of Business and Public Policy, Prof. Lekshmi Pillai, who was present during the orientation event for the students, said that this is the start of a long relationship between Air Niugini and UPNG’s School of Business and Public Policy, and that both institutions will benefit from this relationship. He thanked the Air Niugini management for accepting these nine students for their internship.

The Accounting Divisional Head, Mr. Panditha Bandara, also thanked the Air Niugini Management, including CEO Bruce Alabastar and Financial Controller Fredrick Tongogo, and said that this is a significant achievement, which will enable students who undergo internships to engage with organisations within the country after their graduate, and that their exposure to the real-life working environment while studying is beneficial for the students and the industry as a whole.

The students went through an orientation session at Air Niugini Haus where they were briefed on what to do, where to go and who to see during their work experience.

According to Fredrick Tongogo, it is also an opportunity for Air Niugini’s Finance Department to have extra hands on board to clear any backlogs, and also help to prepare their end of year audit.

He added that it is exciting to provide internships for UPNG accounting students for the benefit of the country and improve local talent. He assured the University that Air Niugini will be happy to help students in the future also.

The Accounting Division regularly arranges placements in various reputed organisations to undergo accounting practicum. After students complete their third year of study, they are expected to carry out their practical for a minimum of 200 hours to pass this course and be eligible to graduate.

The Division requests companies and government agencies to accept students for practicums to allow them to be exposed to real working situations for personal development. This program has been ongoing for the past five years.