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UPNG business school rebadged to reflect new priorities

The University of Papua New Guinea’s business school has changed its name to reflect a new emphasis on public policy as part of a groundbreaking initiative to train the next generation of PNG leaders.

The new School of Business and Public Policy will be strengthened with additional academic staff and a new faculty building under a partnership between the Papua New Guinean and Australian Governments.

The rebranded school forms part of the new Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, an initiative of both countries to produce ethical and accountable leaders who will improve services across PNG.

The school was formerly known as the School of Business Administration.

It will receive extra teaching staff and academic input from the Australian National University’s prestigious Crawford School of Public Policy.

It will continue to turn out graduates in economics and accounting, public policy, management and other business programs. A masters program in Public Policy is also in the early stages of planning.

Executive Dean of the school, Professor Lekshmi N. Pillai, said the name change was an important step, demonstrating the school’s new sense of purpose.

“The highest priority of the Precinct agreement is to improve the public service and service delivery,” he said.

“The school is going to play a major role in that, especially at the higher level, through its academic program.”

The name change was recently approved by the University Senate and University Council.

Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Rod Hilton said Australia was proud to support the PNG government in its ambitions to strengthen the bureaucracy at national, provincial and district level.

He said the school’s new focus on public policy would help prepare future leaders who were capable of managing PNG’s resources for the benefit of all.

“It’s hoped those individuals will go out into the workforce and improve services for all Papua New Guineans,” Mr Hilton said.

“The Precinct is about building that human capital that is so important to nation building.”

He said the Precinct was a genuine partnership between Australia and PNG to provide values-based leadership capabilities to future public and private sector leaders.

The Precinct includes the PNG Institute of Public Administration, which offers diploma and certificate courses for public servants.

The Precinct also offers executive leadership training for public sector leaders through specialist training providers. Twenty top bureaucrats recently commenced a 12 month Precinct course on governance and public policy.