Follow this blog and enter your email

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Vice Chancellor's Speech to Welcome Student upon Resumption of Classes 30 August 2016: 9 am

(under embargo until 12 pm, Monday 29 August 2016)

Duncanson Hall, Tuesday 30 August 9-10 am

Dear Students, Professors, Heads of Departments, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are happy to welcome back all our students. After only one and a half day of registration, almost 1,000 had already registered. Our student seem eager to go back to the lecture halls and resume their studies. We trust that you will continue to show this attitude through your behaviour at all times until the end of your studies.

Last Thursday, the first dinner was served in the temporary mess, which was set up by iPi in less than 1 month. We are very grateful for their efforts, which made it possible to re-open the university in record time. The criminals who burnt down the old mess, thought they had knocked out UNITECH for at least a year, or forever. Instead we rose like a phoenix from the ashes, and we are open for business again.

Ancient mythical phoenix 

​From the outset we have said to the students, that everywhere else in the world, students engage in religious, sports, cultural and political activities while attending classes. Voting massively for a class boycott in week 10 while not having a plan or strategy was therefore unwise. Even more unwise, was to postpone the return to classes on 5 June. Then it was postponed again until 20 June, but by that time acrimony among students prevailed, students refused to return to classes.


In this process the original goals of the boycott - to raise awareness about corruption and mismanagement of the economy - were lost, and internal divisions degenerated into a tribal war on our campus. This is not the first time - the same happened in 2010 - but it must be the last time.
Recently, five myths have been promulgated which I wish to refute by informing you about the true state of affairs. These myths are:
  1. all students are aggressive and a menace to each other and staff.
  2. nothing was done by the management at the first signs of trouble
  3. the management assured the safety of students, and is therefore liable for deceased or injured students, or lost or stolen property.
  4. the university management and the Council do not value or understand the process of reconciliation between the warring groups.
  5. the university is not ready to receive the students.
1- More than 95% of the students solve conflict the UNITECH way: with words and through dialogue and without aggression, extortion or threats. The ones that were involved in any type of intimidation or violence is only a minority of a few dozen. The rest of the almost 3,000 UNITECH students are peace loving people who solve their differences through dialogue

2- Nothing was done by the management after the first signs of trouble became clear. Untrue. Personally, I have been called many things but never a fence sitter. I am always pro-active.

Every credible report on trouble brewing was followed up. Several reports, however, lacked any precision and were non actionable. Let me give two examples of actionable reports. Firstly, when the brawl on 13 June immediately a full investigation was started by the Chief Security Officer. It was however the refusal of students to testify that produced limited results. Secondly, when the female students, for example, declared they were going back to classes on 20 June, but were intimidated and harassed they sent us a detailed report. This allowed us to take measures, and it was instrumental in the deployment of the police on campus.

It took careful preparation and communication to get police deployed fully on campus under strict agreements on restrained and use of force. Matters were not made easier of course by the police shooting at the students on 8 June in Port Moresby. Even then it was risky because some police personnel did not understand the orders.

The police continue their presence of campus, to assure the safety of all staff and students. We have worked out a detailed agreement with them, and they will show the utmost restraint in dealing with our students. We are confident that they will show through their actions that they are here to protect the students and university staff at all times, and that they are professional at all times, and not at the mercy of narrow political interest

3- The management gave assurance for safety but is never liable - legally responsible - for injuries or damage to property on campus. In a rugby game for example, the owner of the field is not responsible when players get hurt, or for the final score.

Within its budgetary and environmental constraints, we took every action to create a safe living and working environment for staff and students. In fact, the University security forces have been significantly improved for the last 2 years. The University perimetre fencing would have been completed if funding would not have been pulled out at the end of last year.

4- The University management and Council do not understand PNG customs and reconciliation process, and are blindly pushing through. Let me make perfectly clear that unlike at other universities, the University management or Council is not part of the reconciliation process. We have nothing to reconcile. Unlike other universities, we did not go to the courts trying to stop the students, but our approach was based on respect of the freedoms granted to the SRC in their constitution (freedoms not rights, to be exercised with responsibility). We engaged with the SRC and student leaders through dialogue and an appeal to universal principles of justice, reasonableness and effectiveness, and the importance of getting a further education.

Since we are not a party to the reconciliation we can not impose a schedule or timeline, we can merely facilitate it, host it, and hope that it will be done soon. The reconciliation is a private affair between the Engan and SHP UNITECH students. It is orchestrated by Hon. Francis Marus, our new Minister of the Department of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Governor Ipatas of Enga Province, and Governor Powi of SHP.

PNG is not the only country where a restorative justice system - based on dialogue and negotiation with the victims - exists in addition to a western retributive justice system. We understand the principles very well, and negotiation between multiple stakeholders is our every day business.

5- The University is now ready to receive the students. We have a safer campus, and our dorms have been restored to the same standard as before, hopefully a bit better.

We took a systematic approach to enhancing safety on our campus, by doing our own independent risk analysis (with Corporate Control Strategies from Australia), and by working closely with private security companies (Guard Dogs) and the authorities, in particular the Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie. All our security guards, for example, have now received training. They are also receiving new uniforms, radios, torches and jackets, and soon 2 extra vehicles for perimetre fence patrols.

Now enough about the past. Let's look at the future, where we are going to spend the rest of our lives. Our vision is to become the most student-centred, innovative and entrepreneurial university in PNG and the South Pacific. In order to achieve this, our strategy or game plan is to develop our industry relations and IT. We had a very successful university-industry breakfast, and will continue to work on building closer relations. We will again buy laptops for all first year students, and continue to work on upgrading our Wifi network.

We are focused on producing highly employable graduates. We continue with our program to improve academic quality, by a series of measures.

All these academic quality measures will lead to provisional international accreditation in 2019, which in turn will greatly enhance the employability of all our graduates, the reputation of the university, and demonstrate the importance and relevance of publicly funded universities. Quality is our trademark and we can show what we do about this.

Good governance, accountability and efficiency are not a strategies but they are necessary conditions for achieving our goals. We trust a positive cooperation between our Council and management will continue, a relationship which has been cemented under the chairmanship of our Chancellor Sir Nagora Bogan. We will catch up with our external audits towards the end of this year. Following government policy, we will streamline and reorganize our support staff so that the academic departments can get the support they need and deserve. This operation will mean that eventually each academic department may end up with K500,000 per year or more in extra budget. That is the price of our current inefficient allocation of human and financial resources.

The management can not do this alone. Although both staff and students will have to sacrifice some of the benefits they obtained under the old regime, now under new management much larger benefits, accessible for all will follow.

Of course, we will be back, better and stronger than before, we are UNITECH. We have risen as a phoenix from the ashes. Together we can make UNITECH fly.

4 comments:

  1. How I Got A Loan From My God Fearing And Trusted Lender {jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com}

    Hello every one please i will like to talk about the goodness of GOD in my life after so many months of trying to get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of $1,800 i became so desperate in getting a loan from a legit lender online then a friend told me that there is a legit loan company where he got his loan fast and easy without any stress so he introduced me to a Man called Edward Jones Jr , So i applied for a loan sum of ($60,000.00) with low interest rate so the loan was approved and deposited into my bank account that was how i was able to get my loan and i was able to pay off my bills. i am advising every one who is interested in getting a loan fast and easy to kindly contact them via email: {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} or Text (424) 281-7747 , So thanks as you read the greatest testimony of my life and thanks be to GOD almighty for his goodness upon my life.

    Lindsey Tyler

    ReplyDelete
  2. How I Got A Loan From My God Fearing And Trusted Lender {jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com}

    Hello every one please i will like to talk about the goodness of GOD in my life after so many months of trying to get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of $1,800 i became so desperate in getting a loan from a legit lender online then a friend told me that there is a legit loan company where he got his loan fast and easy without any stress so he introduced me to a Man called Edward Jones Jr , So i applied for a loan sum of ($60,000.00) with low interest rate so the loan was approved and deposited into my bank account that was how i was able to get my loan and i was able to pay off my bills. i am advising every one who is interested in getting a loan fast and easy to kindly contact them via email: {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} or Text (424) 281-7747 , So thanks as you read the greatest testimony of my life and thanks be to GOD almighty for his goodness upon my life.

    Lindsey Tyler

    ReplyDelete
  3. EDWARD JONES FINANCE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET A LOAN {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712,
    God bless you sir, I will not stop telling the world about your kindness in my life, I am a single mum with kids to look after. My name is Emily Thomas and I am from Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL . A couple of weeks ago My friend visited me and along our discussion she told me about EDWARD JONES FINANCE, that they can help me out of my financial situation, I never believed cause I have spend so much money on different loan lenders who did nothing other than running away with my money. I have been in a financial mess for the pass 7 months now, She advised I give it a try so I mailed him and explain all about my financial situation to him, he therefore took me through the loan process and gave me a loan of $390,000.00 at a very low interest rate of 2% and today I am a proud business owner and can now take good care of my kids, If you must contact any firm to get any amount of loan you need with a low interest rate of 2% and better repayment schedule, please contact EDWARD JONES FINANCE email:- {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good-Day I am CHESTER BRIAN,C.E.O of this reputable & accredited loan Company who gives life time opportunity loans. We give out all kinds of LOAN in a very fast and easy way, Personal Loan, Car Loan, Home Loan, Student Loan, Business Loan, Investment Loan, Debt Consolidation, And MORE. Have you been rejected by banks and other financial agencies? Do you need a consolidation loan or a mortgage? Search no more as we are here to make all your financial problems a thing of the past. We loan funds out to individuals & company in need of financial assistance at a rate of 2%. No social security Number required and no credit check required, 100% Guaranteed. I want to use this medium to inform you that we render reliable and beneficiary assistance and we will be glad to offer you a loan, So if interested in acquiring a loan of any kind email us today at: via: {Brianloancompany@yahoo.com } OR text (803) 373-2162 and also contact there webpage via brianloancompany.bravesites.com

    ReplyDelete