If have you read my last post, you might have noted my point stating that “PNG is the land of opportunities”. That is because compared to our other Pacific neighbours, we have so many things available within the country, including the chance for university studies.
To do a university certificate or diploma, I do not have to go out of the country – I can choose any of the four government universities or the several church-run unis within PNG (not to mention the several other private institutions) to study.
That is not the case for other Pacific nations.
In Nauru’s case, students can start a university program at their local University of South Pacific campus – but to continue on to a diploma or degree level, the students have to go to the main campus in Fiji.
You see, the cost of flying and boarding in Fiji could then be a hindrance for the student and guardians, if they are not on scholarship.
Alternatively, if they win scholarships, they can go to Australia or NZ.
Photo: A view of the library of the University of New Calédonia from the roadside.
In August last year, I met some young men at the University of New Calédonia (UNC) in Nouméa. (I will share the conversation I had with them on PLS’s blog later.)
They told me they came from a French school in Port Vila and were pursuing studies at UNC (which teaches all subjects in French, just like any French university).
They told me there that their friends who attended English schools come to PNG (UPNG, UoG, PAU) to continue their studies or go to USP (Fiji), Australia and New Zealand.
I think in the Solomons, when students win scholarships, they come to study here, Australia, NZ or even USP. As yet, they may not have a full university campus set up yet.
While at Nouméa, I met a librarian, a mother from Wallis and Futuna, the other French territory. (They are Polynesians.)
The very friendly lady told me life was tough for her and her family too when her father passed away. She wanted to become an architect but due to the father’s passing away, she had to work as a librarian to help her family.
One of my former teaching colleagues from Kiribati, who is married to a Nauruan man, spent some time with the husband at PAU. Her husband was studying there.
They returned to Nauru sometime ago but she (who has not completed a full program of studies) desires to return to PAU. She speaks highly of PNG.
However, the cost for her may be too much now that her husband has passed away and she has to look after three young kids. It is sad, but that is a reality.
We in PNG are blessed.
May be in the future we can extend our hands outwards and help them – the other islanders.
It is a worthy dream.