HIGHER education is the cornerstone of the skills needed for strong economies, according to Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes.
Stokes, speaking at the UPNG graduation last Friday, said a skilled workforce was vital to productivity and innovation which were central to a nation’s competitiveness and progress.
She said PNG was benefitting from its vast natural resources but it would be its human resources that ultimately drive, shape and mobilise those benefits.
“Just as importantly, higher education helps define our societies, our values and fundamental principles,” she said.
“It is a central element of our democracies and the institutions based on the rule of law.”
She told the graduates that their hard work, commitment, and desire to improve themselves “are the characteristics that all countries need”.
“But as a highly educated person with a formal qualification, you now have more important responsibilities than ever before,” she said.
“In PNG, to have a university degree, an achievement that is beyond the reach and imagination of most, is such a privilege.
“It is a responsibility. You are leaders now and are essential to your country’s prosperity,” Stokes said.
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