THE CORE FUNCTIONS OF A UNIVERSITY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF PNG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

A. Halim

Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)
Any institution of higher learning, like the PNG University of Technology, needs to address 3 major functions, Teaching, Research and Extension for sustainable development taking consideration of its environment. Teaching, research and extension services can not be seen in isolation to produce quality graduates and to maintain the sustainability of educational activities for development.

This paper has identified seven essentials of a university keeping in view the PNG University of Technology as an example. These are:

1. To recruit first class faculty members and maintain them.
2. To produce first class graduates and sustain the quality in the context of
local environment.
3. To maintain a first class library.
4. To conduct first class research.
5. To participate in community extension services and to develop models
and approaches for development keeping in view the environment.
6. To establish national and international net working.
7. To have first class sustainable management system in the university
administration and other systems.

Further 14 necessary issues have been listed and discussed to maintain the first class faculty. This has been followed by identifying accelerators to produce quality graduates. Discussions have also been made on how to maintain quality library, conduct appropriate research, maintain net working and improve the management system.
The education becomes more sustainable and cost effective if the academic institutions provide services to the people of the concerned community in regular, recurrent and sustainable manner along with normal on campus programs. The students and teachers must go out in the field to obtain field experiences in the real life situation where they are supposed to provide services at the end of institutional learning. This also helps in updating the syllabi and curriculum of educational institutions as per demand of the beneficiaries and environmental needs.
Finally a model has been proposed to institutionalise the agricultural education system for sustainable development incorporating teaching, research and extension as a package in one basket. Examples have been given from the on going field experiences of the PNG University of Technology.