The Papua New Guinea University of Natural Resources and Environment (PNG UNRE) is a small University based in East New Britain Province that is dedicated to promoting the sustainable utilisation of our nation’s natural resources.
We aim to achieve this objective by teaching, research and extension work that has been designed in collaboration with, and for the benefit of local industry partners and communities.
Our courses are all fully compliant with the PNG-National Qualification Framework. This ensures that they all satisfy rigorous international standards. During the validation of our courses we received feedback from local politicians and international academics. We are therefore confident that our graduates have the skills and knowledge they require to become leaders of PNG’s natural resources sector.
PNG-UNRE operates an evidence based management system, to enable us to improve our performance year on year. Just as our lecturers provide feedback to our students on their assignments to help them learn, we receive feedback from them and other stakeholders. This information along with other key performance indicators are reviewed annually. These data help us enhance our activities.
Over the last two years, we have doubled the number of degree programmes we offer and increased our student population by over twenty five percent.
The University established in 1965 as Vudal Agricultural College (VAC), a male only college of the then Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries. The first female students were enrolled ten years later, in 1975. As such it can claim to be the oldest institution of tertiary education in PNG.
The college offered a two-year certificate and three year diploma training in Tropical Agriculture and made significant contributions to agricultural education and rural development in Papua New Guinea and neighbouring South Pacific countries. In 1992, VAC was merged with Papua New Guinea University of Technology. Five years later, the college became University of Vudal, an autonomous higher education institution through an Act of Parliament that was passed in January 1997.
In 1999, under inaugural Vice Chancellor Professor Walter Wong, a four-year Bachelor of Tropical Agriculture degree programme was introduced and the certificate program was phased out.
In 2005, the University Council, under the chancellorship of former Prime Minister and present Governor of New Ireland, Sir Julius Chan, unanimously directed that the University change its name and begin the process of internationalising from a one discipline University to a multi-disciplined one.
The name Papua New Guinea University of Natural Resources and Environment and logo was chosen from a public name and logo competition to promote a new training focus - training in the sound management and harvesting of natural renewable resources. While council endorsed these changes then, the Name Change Bill was passed in Parliament four years later, on May 13, 2009.
Following the resignation of Sir Julius as chancellor in 2007, another former prime minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, was endorsed by council as the university's third chancellor. Sir Rabbie, a distinguished statesman, served as chancellor until he resigned in January 2011. The university's first female chancellor, Margaret L. Elias, was appointed by council at the 50th Council meeting on September 30, 2011. The university's inaugural chancellor was the late Sir Alan Tololo. The current chancellor of UNRE is Professor Kenneth Sumbuk, who was appointed in October 2017.
Prof. Kenneth Sumbuk (Chancellor, PNGUNRE)