The ridiculous Western Pacific University Fantasy Dream progresses, to take in its first students just before the 2017 election and managed by the Australian Royal Institute of Technology. Meanwhile, PNG’s existing public universities continue to deteriorate and already know that they’ll receive very small increases in funding for 2015, probably not even enough to keep above cost of living rates. It all sounds moronic but Peter O’Neill’s dream isn’t producing a peep of protest from any one of the MPs that make up his near-monopoly government nor the department of education itself. Who says we have a vibrant democracy where people aren’t afraid to speak out against idiocy?

By a Angry Parent of a PNG Uni Student

How many more times will Peter O’Neill slap our PNG public universities in the face? He has seen all the reports about their unprecedented decline. All he really has to do is remember his time at UPNG and compare it against the rundown campus he sees today. Our universities are in a rotten status, the education they give to our sons, daughters, cousins, nieces and nephews is worst than bad. None of our public universities have an overseas reputation as being anything better than awful. UNRE itself is a certified global laughingstock, one of the very worst universities in the world, scoring close to the worst possible score on the webometrics scale established by the Spanish government, which ranks all of the world’s universities, and in which which top PNG university, Divine Word, barely breaks 9,000 on the list.

Any stories that our public universities are doing well and improving are nothing but propaganda crap. The standards are bad even comparing against universities in developing countries. Nothing can be done to reverse the trend as long as our public universities get so little money each year from the government. Only the 2 private universities, Divine Word and Pacific Adventist University, have even come close to moving in a positive direction and look at the unaffordable tuition they charge to achieve that objective. They have become schools of PNG’s economic elite, or it’s debt up to their ears struggling middle class. Most of us have no financial ability to send our high achieving students to anything other than one of the 4 toilet pits of learning.
Since becoming PM, Peter O’Neill has done absolutely nothing to increase UPNG’s, Unitech’s, UOG’s and UNRE’s budgets so that they can even do basic maintenance. That is why the campuses are visibly falling apart. He has told Minister Malakai Tabar that all 4 universities must take in thousands of additional students next year, yet is providing no money in the 2015 budget to build the necessary dorm space to house them, as if construction in only a few months time were possible anyway.

Is this man insane or simply foolish to think that squeezing thousands more students into next year’s term without increasing housing or substantially increasing funding to the universities will create anything other than further deterioration in our public university standards? Why has this become nothing more than a numbers game to the Prime Minister. Might it have anything to do with the 2017 election and getting more votes?

Why he hates the existing public universities we can only puzzle about but this week Peter O’neill slapped our existing PNG public universities really hard. Speaking at Ialibu Secondary School, maybe a place where he hoped that his words would not be heard elsewhere in the country, the Prime Minister promised that his Western Pacific University in Ialibu, also known as the Peter O’Neill Cargo To His People University also known as PNG University to Buy Voter Loyalty, will be managed by the Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne through a very expensive 10 year management contract. None of the other PNG universities are getting anything near that kind of money. Mr O’Neill also says that the courses taught will be internationally accredited. Our current PNG universities are years away from that if it’s even achieveable. Our PNG universities will never get international accreditation so long as it is business as usual at our public universities, complete with poor teaching quality by poor teachers who have no funds to support their teaching with proper supplies and equipment. New books for the libraries, text books for the students? Absolutely not going to happen!

Yet here we have Peter O’Neill breaking ground for this spectacular showcase university to be built in his own district, populated by people who will never vote for anyone else but Peter O’Neill as long as the cargo keeps flowing, and planning its first student intake in 2017, could that be coincidence with the 2017 election? It’s Peter O’Neill’s Fantasy University to attract votes! While he continues his cynical poitical game playing, our students will continue to receive substandard education at the 4 existing universities, all of which will continue to strangle financially because any money that might have been available for them is going to Pangia instead!

How does one in good conscience allow 4 PNG public universities to rot, while proposing to build another university that will supposedly house 6,000 students, be internationally accredited, and run by an Australian university? Is Peter O’Neill’s mindset like the simple villager who builds a house of bush material, lets it slowly fall apart through no maintenance, then when rain starts pouring through the roof, abandons the first house and builds another?

Peter O’Neill’s Fantasy University in Ialibu defies all logic if there was any intent to raise the quality of tertiary education in this country. His moronic Pacific Western University is nothing more than a political ploy, yet he probably will get his way and build it anyway.

The Prime Minister has proudly announced that Fr Jan Czuba of Divine Word will be appointed chairman of the new university. Fr Czuba has accepted the appointment, telling close associates that he fears O’Neill and cannot say no. What’s new? It seems that anyone who just might be effective at stopping this mess is afraid of Peter O’Neill, just like all the MPs in Peter O’Neill’s near monopoly government. Thus, Fr Czuba joins the mousy and easy to manipulate VC Mellam of UPNG as a team of sheep who will actively participate in the destruction of UPNG, Unitech, UOG and UNRE. The other VCs haven’t yet signed the “I am a sheep too” agreement, and where is the supposedly sensible Higher Education Minister Malakai Tabar in all this? It was always suspected that O’Neill chose him as Minister becaue he’s a mouse. The story seems confirmed.

You would think the students at PNG’s public universities would be up in arms about this, but they have become mice too. UPNG students will never again fight the fights that count for truth, good governance, and a great education. Apparently consisting mostly of tribalists rather than thinkers, UPNG students have voted their blood type and elected a new SRC president from Southern Highlands Roy Cornelius to replace the corrupt Bobby Yupi, also from SHP, who made little pretense of kissing Peter O’Neill’s feet and licking his hands. This new SRC president, Roy Cornelius, is reported to be the perfect lapdog to do whatever the Prime Minister asks. How proud Peter O’Neill must be! Maybe he should install a southern highlander as SRC president into each one of the PNG public universities. The only danger in that is that many SHP people never supported him in the first place and more are getting turned off with each new drama that Peter O’Neill brings to our country.

On other fronts, UOG students are still tired from their last fight against their VC. UNRE. Huh, are those students even conscious?

Only Unitech students might be expected to cause a stir about Pangia university but they seem to have lost all their energy once they got their VC back. Peter O’Neill let them win that one, knowing that they’re like UOG students, down for the count for the next few years.

Let’s try to make some sense out of this again: Peter O’Neill plans to build his Western Pacific University, pay an Australian university to manage it, bring in quality foreign Australian teachers (it is being said that there will be few or no Asian teachers in the lot) and pay for all the classroom learning resources enough to deliver an international standard education, all at the same time, despite the fact that for 39 years the existing PNG public universities have seen only decline. How does Peter O’Neill propose to pay for all this when he can’t even balance his budgets and has already mortgaged our LNG revenue for the next few years down the road on UBS loans, Exxim Bank Chinese loans, and budget blowouts?

This tragically seems to be just another example in a long line of examples of a Prime Minister who does everything politically, has no concern for proper long term planning, and packs at least one lie into every sentence he speaks. He is well on track to go down in history as being even a worse Prime Minister than Bill Skate, who at least made the world laugh with his Jack Daniels stumbling, interspersed with rock n roll dancing. But there is nothing to laugh at if you open your eyes, look at the numbers, and see how Peter O’Neill is bankrupting this country through his political scheming and dreamland foolishness. It’s all happening because there is no effective government opposition anymore. Peter O’Neill has effectively become Our Dear Leader, Divine Emperor, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, El Generalissimo, Supreme Potentate, His Exalted Majesty, Godfather, Grand Poobah, Eternal Protector of the People and Big Daddy Fat Sack, all rolled into one.

God help PNG since our MPs have obviously given up and Peter O’Neill’s Pangia Dreamland University seems destined to rise up and suck the last blood out of our existing universities.

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