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Old 01-04-2004, 12:24 PM
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Seven pioneers graduate with Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees

by Brian Tobia (UPNG Public Relations)

UPNG has attracted a blend of international and local students in its homegrown Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program in the second year since its introduction in 2003.

Convener, Dr David Kavanamur revealed at the 49th UPNG Graduation pioneer graduates tha the new MBA program has attracted interest from potential expatriate students population while others enrolled in other MBA programs taught by various institutions have switched over to the UPNG program.
He said that this is very exciting and encouraging for UPNG.

The pioneer MBA graduands also spoke highly of the program at a meeting held recently in preparation for the graduation.

Spokesman, Paul Lupai of Treasury Department said the program is relevant for PNG to approach the 21st Century

"We had all kinds of thoughts when we first started but we took on the challenge and as time went by, the program became more exciting," he said.
Mr. Lupai said the program alone created a climate conducive to learning because there was more open interaction with staff and between students themselves.

"The course became very interesting for us because by studying, we were able to see clearly the instances where the problems are in our own office environment. All the things we learnt relate us back to our own organizations. We can see the problems affecting the operations and how to manage properly," he said.

He said there is also a strong bond now between the pioneer MBA students. This means that they can now turn to each other for advice or assistance to effectively deal with problems that may arise in their organizations.
There will no longer be the case of being isolated because "we now have direct contact with those who can help solve problems that may occur in management".

He said the new MBA program is timely for Papua New Guinea as it is the first for the country and the Pacific.

"Good management practices are lacking in management of organizations in PNG and the MBA program is necessary as it provided us with the new focus to change systems of management to achieve development.
"It has given us wide ranging tools to better manage," he said.

Mr. Lupai added that the MBA students as managers and line managers have realized after the end of the program that they only focused on dealing with immediate short-term measures to troubleshoot problems that occur in their respective organizations.

"This program has provided us the vision to look far beyond the horizon. With strategic management skills we obtained, we can now clearly see beyond management problems that exist in organizations that we work for," he said.
As managers and line managers of institutions and organizations, they always had the tendency to focus on immediate operational problems but this program, which was very challenging and extensive has provided them wide-ranging tools to look beyond the horizon, not only within the internal environment but also externally.

"We foresee a better future for PNG with more experts in strategic management graduating with MBAs from UPNG as you need people with the ability to see beyond the problems. This will enable PNG to build and develop capacity to be self-reliant."

He said the challenge is now on the pioneers to make a difference and they are all geared up.

The pioneer students come from various public sector organizations, which include Finance and Treasure, Petroleum and Energy, Rural Development Bank and Trade and Industry and a retired officer from the PNG Defence Force.
"We need good managers for the good of PNG and not substandard managers.
This program is the best not inferior as some people would think. As you learn it, you make improvements and at the end of the day, the program would be dynamic," said Mr. Lupin.

The pioneers hope to develop a culture of learning in PNG to ensure continuity of the learning process by establishing a MBA Alumni. within SBA.
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