The Western Pacific University is an historic first for Papua New Guinea and the Region; and testimony to DHERST’s commitment to the roll-out of the i-PNG networking strategy of closely linked higher education institutions providing access and quality through digital education service delivery. The construction of the first phase of WPU is near completion and Papua New Guinea’s first fully digitalised University plans to open for 240 student enrolments in 2021.

The Western Pacific University has been established for 21st Century learning and education. The rapid growth in demand for continuing education and the provision of distance programs by colleges and universities in particular has challenged traditional notions of the content and delivery of postsecondary education. For example, there is increased complexity of institutional functions; changing student demographics; demands for entrepreneurial behaviour, technological innovation and increases in external interest group interventions.

A number of key political shifts, including a growing retreat from public funding of colleges and universities, demands for privatization of colleges and universities services, and the use of the university as an instrument in broader national economic and social  life, will challenge and enrich organizational arrangements at WPU.

These new shifts will entail considerably more institutional outreach to legislatures, governors, and the involvement of key interest groups at the state and national levels; as well as additional staff in governmental and public relations. WPU organizational structure is therefore flexibly design in response to the challenges of the twenty-first century in Papua New Guinea.