Talks about opportunities and second chances in education
By Gary Hatigeva
A Senior Official from the University of Goroka (UOG) is in Honiara to look into the proposal for the Institute to establish its campus in the country.
This was confirmed during a one day awareness talk, which the University’s Solomon Islands based staff organised over the weekend.
Representing the institute, Director of UOG’s Open Campus in Hagen, Hugo Koppel is here on that special assignment, which according to local officials, is to look at sites while at the same time, look into the process for the acquisition of land for their Solomon Islands campus.
The UOG Open Campus Director who was accompanied by the University’s Solomon based staff, took time to visit potential sites for the proposed establishment, in West Guadalcanal last week.
Koppel was also the guest speaker of the awareness programme, who he talked about their plans to upgrade UOG’s courses that held here and highlighted opportunities the institute has for the people of Solomon Islands and the benefits of being certified under them.
Currently, the University is here in Solomon Islands as part a government to government MOA and bilateral arrangements between the two Melanesian nations, however, the institute is looking beyond these arrangements.
He told a packed gathering, which consisted of former UOG students and interested ones, both in service and high school leavers that it is from the current status of MOAs and arrangements, that the UOG is providing small scale programmes that those who come under, do them in-country.
He added that taking courses on offer in-country is highly encouraged, assuring that their schedules run in parallel with the PNG main campus schedules and therefore assured that students in Honiara are not left behind.
He further added that other opportunities include upgrading programmes, and after completing with requirements and criteria fully met, students are taken as fulltime students of UOG, but that according to officials, will involve additional costs.
He said Solomon Islands needs a well educated population and with the proposed establishment of a Solomon Islands branch/campus, Goroka is here to provide that.
He highlighted that Goroka has played a significant role in the development of Solomon Islands, having a lot of the current leaders in both the private and public sectors, being former students of UOG and Koppel said the institute is proud to see this.
“They are products of the University of Goroka”.
Koppel then pointed out that on an even more exciting and upper side of UOG establishing here in Solomon Islands is that, it will give access the local population to access quality tertiary education.
“At the same time, we must note that by Earning a PNG diploma or degree adds value to your chances to even work in PNG,” Koppel explained.
He then announced that the Institute will also be looking to make arrangements for degree and masters courses to be taught or held here in SI and that will include sending in of staff from the main campus to teach the courses for the students.
Since the inception of the arrangement under the MOA between the two countries, UOG has held three successful graduation ceremonies for its students, and now anticipating it 4th and the many more to come once there is actual establishment or still be providing the programmes under the arrangements.