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By Jina Amba in Port Moresby

The University of PNG has clarified that Papua New Guinea’s higher education loan programme (Help) is administered by a government department and not the university.

Vice-chancellor Professor Frank Griffin said the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) looked after the loan programme.

He said UPNG had no control over it.

Professor Griffin was responding to queries on why the university was telling students to pay the compulsory fee of K2939 (NZ$1160) to register before applying for the loan.

Parents and students were hoping to pay the fee from the Help loan.

But Professor Griffin said DHERST had informed UPNG that a student had to register first at the university before applying for a Help loan.

He said registration was based on paying the compulsory fee – something UPNG had no control over.

Professor Frank Griffin
UPNG vice-chancellor Professor Frank Griffin … Help student fees assistance programme explained. Image: UPNG

‘Leave no one behind’
“Last year, we were advised by the government to leave no one behind,” Professor Griffin said.

“So we went ahead and registered all students.

“But this year, the policy was changed by the department (DHERST).

“Last year, we did not get all of the Help funding.

“It’s a programme done by DHERST so who they give the money or decide to give the money to is a question you have to ask the department.”

Asia Pacific Report republishes The National articles with permission.

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