THIS year marks the beginning of the historical milestone for the Office of Higher Education to operate as the Department for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
This transition is among others that the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Malakai Tabar, announced in a press conference last Friday.
The Office of Higher Education was initially created as a scholarship clearing house in the late 1970s and later evolved into a policy secretariat under the Commission of Higher Education in the 1990s.
It is now being transformed into a government department responsible for all activities under the higher technical education sector.
The management structure of this new department has been approved by the Department of Personal Management.
The creation of the department came into being after the passing and adoption of the Higher Education (general provision) act 2014.
This act was passed and certified on October 30, effectively establishing the department and streamlines all activities classified under the higher education sector ensuring greater accountability of all higher education institutions and their functions.
The other changes Minister Tabar announced include; the establishment of Papua New Guinea Science and Technology Council Secretariat, university external quality assessment, national higher and technical plan, accreditation of new higher education institutions, ending of UNITECH crisis, 2014-2015 selections, year 12 graduates, national scholarship (NATSHOL), National Executive Council submissions and the department funding.
Higher education, post-secondary education, tertiary education or third level education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after secondary education.
Often delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology, higher education is also available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications.
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