Prime Minister Hon. James Marape Commends DHERST’s 2024 Management Action Plan

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has extended a warm welcome to the Department of Higher Education Research Science, and Technology (DHERST’s) 2024 Management Action Plan (MAP). The welcome came following a comprehensive session on Thursday, January 4, 2023, with Higher Education Research Science and Technology Minister Hon. Don Polye and Acting Secretary Professor Fr Jan Czuba.

The primary objective of this meeting was to evaluate the advancements made throughout the year 2023 in the Higher Education Sector. Additionally, discussions were held on the implementation of the 2024 MAP for the Ministry and the Department.

Importantly, the plan will facilitate the creation of additional space in higher education institutions (HEIs) to accommodate the increasing number of Grade 12 school leavers. This involves establishing elevated standards of education and welcoming private HEIs to complement Government schools.

“This comprehensive plan meticulously outlines the department’s strategy and roadmap for fulfilling its coordination and regulatory responsibilities within the higher education sector,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“It recognises the ongoing reform in the higher education sector, geared towards achieving our government’s development objectives of enhancing access, improving quality, and ensuring student success. Collaboration and support from key government agencies and development partners are imperative. It is through their collective efforts that we can fully realise the transformative benefits for many years to come.

“I am confident that the MAP DHERST has developed will guide the department in advancing the government’s reform agenda, aiming to transform and unify the higher education sector. Through the implementation of the initiatives outlined in this plan, we will make significant progress towards achieving the policy goals of the government, particularly the commitment to leaving no child behind.”

Key Components of the 2024 Management Action Plan:

1.            Enhancing Access:

•             Implementing measures to improve access to higher education for disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

•             Strengthening partnerships with educational institutions at the provincial and local levels to expand access to quality education.

•             Developing and implementing scholarship programmes to support underprivileged students.

2.            Improving Quality:

•             Enhancing the accreditation and quality assurance mechanisms for higher education institutions.

•             Establishing quality benchmarks and standards for various academic programmes.

•             Promoting research and innovation to elevate the quality of education offered.

3.            Ensuring Student Success:

•             Implementing student support programmes to enhance retention, progression, and completion rates.

•             Improving career counseling and placement services to facilitate successful transitions into the workforce.

•             Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning by providing professional development opportunities for educators.

4.            Strengthening Governance and Regulation:

•             Streamlining regulatory processes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in monitoring and evaluation.

•             Enhancing transparency and accountability in financial management within the sector.

•             Collaborating with relevant stakeholders to develop and enforce policies that govern the higher education sector.

5.            Collaboration and Partnership:

•             Strengthening partnerships with national and international organisations to leverage resources and expertise.

•             Engaging with industry leaders and employers to align curricula with labor market demands.

•             Promoting knowledge exchange and collaboration among higher education institutions both locally and internationally.

“By focusing on these areas, DHERST aims to foster an enabling environment that supports the growth and development of higher education in our country,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“The successful implementation of this MAP will significantly contribute to the advancement of our government’s vision for an inclusive and prosperous society.

“I thank Minister Polye and Secretary Czuba for their continued support and guidance in ensuring the success of these initiatives. I look forward to working closely with them and the respective stakeholders to transform our higher education sector for the benefit of our nation.”