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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

PNG Business Advantage: Lae’s Unitech undergoes ‘cultural change’ to produce better qualified students

Link: Business Advantage PNG

The University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae is marking its fiftieth anniversary. Vice Chancellor Albert Schram tells Business Advantage PNG that the institution is undergoing a broad ‘cultural change’. The aim is to create closer ties with business and better qualified graduates.

Vice Chancellor Schram with graduates in 2015
Dr Schram claims that the university has become more accountable, is more transparent and is developing closer ties to business. He believes this will ultimately improve the employability of its graduates.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Obituary for Dr. Larry Orsak

Dr. Larry Joe Orsak

15 October 1953, (USA) - 6 July 2017 (Lae, Papua New Guinea)

(An in Memoriam blog has been set up at

Since 2012, Associate Professor Dr. Larry Orsak has been the Head of Department of Forestry of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UNITECH). With the permission of his brother and family in the USA, he was laid to rest in Baitabag, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, a place he did some of his most significant work, in a country which he unconditionally loved.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

How to transform a University of Technology

(Article Published in #191 (August 2017) Bulletin of the Association of Commonwealth Universities)

The Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNGUoT or UNITECH) was modeled on similar institutes or universities of technology set up all over the commonwealth during the 20th century. Many of these Universities have not developed further, have completely run-down infrastructure, and produce substandard graduates. Many of these Universities are now decrepit, their curriculum sclerotic, and their operations have atrophied. How to transform them into functional institutions producing employable graduates is a major challenge.

With graduate from Simbu province
The PNGUoT is a case in point. In 1965 in colonial times, the PNGUoT was founded as an Institute by an Act of the House of Assembly, and in 1969 the 220 Ha the campus in Lae (Papua New Guinea) was opened by the Paul Hasluck, the Governor General of Australia. It was set up on a grand scale for about 3,000 students, which coincidentally is its current student population. The country became independent in 1975, but in the subsequent 36 years the state did not invest any funding in maintaining, expanding, refurbishing or building new academic buildings or infrastructure.

Friday, 21 April 2017

VC Schram's Graduation Speech 2017

Vice Chancellor's Speech at the 49th Graduation of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology


Dear Students​, Parents and Sponsors​, ​Honoured Guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege today to address the graduates of the 49th graduation of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology UNITECH, their parents, family members and sponsors. Welcome all to UNITECH, where tomorrow's leaders are forged!

This year, we present to our Chancellor graduates from all different programs:
  • ​50 Post Graduate graduates (of which 17th doctorate of our in-house doctorate program) 
  • 5 in our EMBA, which is by now well-established, 
  • ​and over 900 from our Bachelors programs. 
Today, therefore we add a total 967 UNITECH graduates of which 30% women, to the total number of about 15,000 alumni. We also acknowledge UNITECH Faculty members who obtained their doctorates at foreign universities since our last graduation: Dr. Ronny Dotaona from our Agriculture Department who obtained his PhD from Charles Sturt University in Australia.

Congratulations again the 23 new Police constables (2 of them women), all part of our UNIFORCE security services who graduated 15 April as a result of the MoU which I started to draft in 2012.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

5 Ways to Thrive as a Student at UNITECH

We are strongly committed to be a good university so we apply all academic and other rules strictly. A university is by its very nature a rule based organization. We must obey by our own rules if we wish to obtain provisional accreditation by an international, independent external body by 2019.

The University rules are the same for everybody and are set by the University Council and the Academic Board. Even the Vice Chancellor has to obey by these rules, and can not by himself take action to bypass them. In fact, it is the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar are responsible for upholding these rules, and maintaining the integrity of all processes.

Highly Employable Graduates

After our new Council was constituted on 3 April 2014, a number of things have changed at UNITECH. What you have heard from others may therefore not be correct. Here are some pointers which will ensure you will do well as a student at UNITECH:

Speech for PG orientation week

Students, Guests, Professors, Lecturers and Staff of the PNGUoT, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a real pleasure for me to share a few thoughts with you today on research for the PG orientation week.

First, I will speak about the role of European funding in enhancing our Universities PG program and research. Secondly about the importance of research for this university and society. Thirdly, I will speak about the role of research in my personal life, and what doors it may open for you.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Welcome for Minister DHERST Francis Marus to UNITECH campus


Dear Minister Hon. Francis Marus, Honourable Member, Council members, Professors, Honoured Guest, Business Houses, Students, Faculty and Staff of the PNGUoT, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am delighted today to welcome Minister of DHERST, Francis Marus to our campus. A few days ago on Monday, we opened the 52nd Academic Year of the PNGUoT. 52 years is a long time, in fact we were founded 10 years before PNG became independent.

You may not realize that among the 10 or so oldest institutions in the world, over half of them are universities. Some of our partner universities in Europe, the University of Bologna for example is more than 900 years old, and arguably the oldest university in the world.