BackgroundAlthough we published earlier on the internationalization efforts which I led at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNGUoT), in this article we wish to give a more complete overview of how the transformative, outward-looking strategy was developed, executed, and finally discontinued and replaced by a inward looking, navel gazing approach by the current Council and Management. While I signed over 25 agreements beneficial to the PNGUoT from 2014 to 2017 (3 years), in the 2 year from 2018 until today the current management has not undertaken any significant, new initiative, rather claiming my achievements as their own.
Internationalization was a cross-cutting theme across the three legs on which the University's strategy rested: digital technologies, and successful industry, as well as academic partnerships. Because my deputies refused to file extensive reports or keep an agenda, I can not always report with a high degree of certainty about the matters that were delegated to them.
By turning the clock back, the PNGUoT went back to being an organization ruled by whim and favouritism, and serving exclusively the interests of long-term staff, rather than that of the students or the country. In other words, back to how it was before I joined.
Here we will outline the opportunity cost of this navel gazing approach of not engaging widely and transparently with industry and academic partners, in terms of lack of training and education opportunities for students and staff, not carrying out joint research projects, and no longer receiving visiting lectures from leading universities in Australia, India or Europe. Opportunity costs simply mean the costs of not-doing something in terms of benefits sacrificed, because of the choice you made to do something else.