The O’Neill-Dion Government’s commitment was fully embracing human resource development as enshrined in the “Medium Term Development Plan 2011-2015, PNG Development Strategic Plan 2030, PNG Vision 2050 and the Alotau Accord” is well supported by all sectors in Papua New Guinea. The PNG Government acknowledges the relationship between economic growth, social improvement of standards and human development is an iterative one. It considers as the critical investment in human development which will lead to economic growth and social advancement. The O’Neill-Dion Government’s commitment to technical education is well expressed by Gustav Ranis: ” There can be little doubt that technology – both in its process and quality dimensions – when combined with human development – makes a critically important contribution to economic growth which in turn leads to advances in human development as a society’s bottom line achievement……. One production function runs from growth to human development, the other from human development to growth. In this paper, our first objective was to examine the second strand, i.e. to establish that human development, lagged or non-lagged, in contribution with technology, measured by TFP, yields increases in the current rate of growth.”( Gustav Ranis)
For that reason, the National Executive Council on the 24th of April 2015 approved the establishment of a new University in Ialibu/Pangia District in the Southern Highlands Province. (NEC Decision No. 299/2013)
The National Executive Council’s decision to establish new university of technology was further iterated in the next Government’s pronouncement:
- 30th August 2013 National Executive Council (NEC Decision No.299/2013) had approved the composing instructions by way of a draft bill;
- First Legislative Counsel had vetted and issued a Certificated of Legal Compliance on the proposed Bill;
- The Governor General had given his clearance for NEC to endorse the Western Pacific Bill 2013 to be tabled in Parliament;
- 27th August 2014 Parliament unanimously passed the 2013 WPU Bill with a Majority Vote of 71-0; and
- 8th November 2014 Western Pacific University Act 2014 came into force (Certified No. 36 of 2014).
Western Pacific University was established on customary land adjacent to Ialibu Township (Koromi) and the land acquisition process was completed in 2016.
The construction of the University commenced as of July 2016. The project plan included the scope of works, bill of quantities, risk management plan and process, service agreement templates, finance and administration system, technical specifications, drawings and other important tasks.
New student intake was anticipated for 2018 or 2019 however the first intake came in 2021.