Following the 2017 rollout of online selection for higher education institutions in Papua New Guinea (PNG), PCG Academia’s client – the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) – continued to build momentum in 2018 by replacing paper-based applications with an online tool.
The DHERST team worked closely with PCG Academia throughout 2018 to discuss the project, determine the features required for a successful implementation of the tool, (including online program descriptions, clearly defined requirements and specific information on quota for new students, with a possible split for different residential status or gender), develop the software, and build awareness about new technological solutions for education among PNG schools. By the end of the year, all the schools went online, and students applied via the online system.
For Papua New Guinea, it was a huge technological leap forward. Before the implementation of the online system, the whole process of selection and recruitment of new students in this country was carried out using the manual paper-based method that took over three weeks to complete. For comparison, in December 2018 selection conducted via the online system ended in just 20 seconds.
The portal managed to serve over 26,000 unique users in total, amounting to the whole population of Grade 12 students across PNG for the 2019 school year. According to a media reports, this saved the PNG government more than K6 million (nearly two million U.S. dollars) in its first year only.
Pila Niningi, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology of Papua New Guinea, stressed that the PCG Academia system not only means time and cost savings, but first of all it is an opportunity to raise the gross enrollment ratio and ensure equal access to higher education for all students. During the ceremonial launch of the selection process that took place at DHERST's headquarters in the presence of the media, the minister declared that the implemented system exceeded the Ministry's and universities' expectations, and that PCG Academia made a significant contribution to the development of the higher education sector in Papua New Guinea.
Join us in congratulating the PCG Academia international team for their stellar efforts toward this project, proving that with hard work, collaboration and dedicated support, it is possible to advance technological change for students in what many still consider to be an “offline” country.