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Subject: Re: Unitech situation messy

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Date Posted: Thu, Feb 28 2008, 06:48:02pm
In reply to: SB 's message, "Unitech situation messy" on Fri, Feb 22 2008, 08:36:20pm


You do seem to know some things about the situation in Unitech but you obviously lack the indepth knowledge on how things run at unitech.

Correction # 1.
UDC was established in 1994 not 1980s as you said. It was establish by the university council realising the need to retain highly qualified academics who could not be paid higher salaries due to the devaluation and subsequent floatation of the PNG Kina. Expatriate lecturers were on salaries of K50,000 to K60,000 when the kina was on par with the US$. These packages became something like US$19,000.00 when the kina slumped. The university had to find a way to keep these people. The only way it could do that was to engage the academics in consultancy work. Hence the birth of UDC. The consultants got 80% of the fees and the 20% was split between the Dept, UDC and techincal staff who assisted in his work. This is a different arrangement to work organised through the university depts. Anyway, most of the consultancy work provided now by Unitech academics are Short Courses which do not reflect industry practices due to the presenter's own lack of industry experienance.

Correction # 2
Remuneration packages for the Unitech academics are quite high compared to other government run agencies. A Senior lecture is normally on Salary ranges of K40,000 to K55,000 On top of this they are paid ATA at 30% and provided high cost housing. This sort of salary is quite high for the amount of work they do. Now let's be clear, if they were the experts that they are supposed to be, PNG industries would be paying them fees worthy of consultants. Not many PNG industries goes to them due to their technical incompetencies. A BEEE (Power) lecture may know the difference between a sychronus motor and a induction motor in theory but I guarantee you, 9/10 he would not tell the difference when installed in real application.

Correction 3
During my short stint at the university I had 2 opportunities to travel abroad to present papers at conferences. With exception to the Bio Deisel project, many of the academics did not write any papers to contribute to journals or other technical articles. You stand to be corrected again, funds are allocated yearly under departmental budgets for academics to present papers at conferences. You ask most of the academics down there, not many would have asked to go because they wouldn't have written a paper anyway. The avenues are there, they just don't make use of them.

Correction # 4.
A university student is like a V8 racing car burning to go, he/she needs a good driver to charge through. The student's need to be given the right sort of mentoring at uni. They just don't know things unless they are thought, now lectures who do not know applications in industry just don't have the right attitude towards teaching. In the company that I work, we employed the best student in the class of that year and when the person came through, we had to spend hours teaching him things that should have been very fresh in mind. When asked very simple things he just sat there bewildered. It's been a year now that he is slowly standing on his own.

I'll leave it there for you to see why I think Unitech lectures are politicians not academics.

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