Saturday, 20 May 2017

Grade 12 Guide to Securing a Tertiary Institution Government Scholarship

You were a Grade 12 student. Your Grade Point Average (GPA) is above 2.00. Yet you were not selected to continue higher education. Potentially, you can enter a tertiary institution in the country. 

I do not want to raise your hopes too high. If you have a GPA below 2.00 you will find it very hard to enter a tertiary institution. This post aims help the Grade 12 students who have a GPA between 2.00 and 3.00 and dropped out the education system. 

In fact, there are many students who tried again and were fortunate to enter universities and colleges in the country. You can also do the same to secure yourself not only a space, but also a government scholarship - HECAS.

First, research the program of your choice thoroughly. The students' services and administration officers will provide the necessary help.  Start with the answers to the following questions before completing and submitting the application form:
  • What is the minimum GPA requirement? This question will help you to identify whether you are a hot, warm or cold applicant.
  • How many spaces are available? Knowing the number of intake every year gives the applicant the picture of the space there are. According to the 12 Grade stats, five students are applying for every space available under government scholarships.
  • When is the closing date for submission? Getting the time right is important too - you application must not be too early nor too late.
  • What to do when you've made submission? Always follow up with the Students Services or Administration for updates. 
  • What if you are not selected having applied? Do not stop there. If you have done the first three steps properly (and are convinced you are the likely candidate), go to the institution and demand the reason why your application was rejected. This must be done before the start of the academic year.
Second, make every effort to secure a government scholarship for the program on successful application. It is tight to get a Higher Education Contribution Assistance Scheme (HECAS) scholarship especially if you are a non-Grade 12 school leaver. That means that you will have to sponsor yourself during the first year of your study. 

Once the door is opened for you, get in, do well academically and apply for second year scholarship. Make no mistake, your must perform well and maintain your GPA in the first year. 

Importantly, on successful completion of semester one ask your lecturers, Admin and Student Services staff for help with completing an application for securing your scholarship. Complete the application form for tertiary students scholarship offered by the PNG government and submit the application around May/June to the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) in Port Moresby.

Always follow up immediately and on regular basis to find out about your applications. Thimon is one of the best persons to help you. His email is 

To ask for application forms call 301 2052  or email More information on government yearly scholarships ( TESAS, AES, and HECAS) can be found on the DHERST website

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Grade 12 SLF: How to Make Good Choice on School Leavers Form

Get your choice on SLF right, make your mark count - don't be a stat!
The choice many Grade 12 students make every year can make or break them. Many good students missed out on being selected, simply, because they have not made the right choice on the School Leavers Form (SLF). 

Here is what one student said: 

                 'I have a GPA of 2.8 and I cannot be offered a 
                 space in any of these institutions...confused?'

A GPA of 2.8 would mean that the student scored Bs and higher Cs. But, why had the student missed the selection to  a university, or college, or vocational centre on government scholarship?

There are two important factors that disadvantaged capable students from entering the universities, colleges, or vocational and technical colleges:

1. The increasing number of students passing out from grade 12.

Take a look at the graph and you will realise that the number of students has increased since 2014. By contrast, spaces at tertiary institutions remained relatively low - only 20% of students were selected to continue after Grade 12 each year between 2014 and 2016. 

That is for every space available at tertiary institution (under HECAS), five students are applying for it. 

2. Students choices on the  SLF

Unlike the 80s and 90s when there were a handful of National High Schools, today many secondary schools have been established in every province in the country. As the number of secondary schools increases, the number of students also increases.

In fact, a 'funnel effect' takes hold where only the students with very good Grade 12 marks and good choices on SLF gets the preference during selections for university or college entries. It is absolutely important that you get both factors (Grade 12 marks +  SLF choice) right. 

Do not let your years of hard work and good marks go to waste. If you are an A, or B or C+ student, follow this rule-of-thumb to get a government scholarship into a tertiary institution:

SLF Choice 1 -    University
SLF Choice 2 -    College/Technical Institute 
SLF Choice 3 -    Vocational/Technical Centre

Avoid putting a university program as your second choice - you are NOT going to make it. university choice on the SLF must be choice 1 if you believe that you will 'smash' the  end of the year Grade 12 examinations.

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