Asee peer logo

Some Problems And Measures For Improving Mechanical Engineering Education At The Papua New Guinea University Of Technology

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

International Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1011.1 - 7.1011.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Mohammed Ali Satter

author page

John Pumwa

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu

Session: 2160


M.A. Satter and J. Pumwa

Department of Mechanical Engineering Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae, PAPUA NEW GUINEA


The paper considers some problems of undergraduate mechanical engineering education at the Papua New Guinea university of Technology with a view to improving academic quality and relevance to the needs of industry. It identifies several problems that act as inhibitors to learning. As a result, there had been high failure rate, between 20 to 30%, at every level of the four-year undergraduate program. The paper analyses the problems of the Foundation Year Engineering (FYE) program, a common program for all engineering departments of the university. Some of the problems seem to be related to student’s weak high school background, ad hoc design of the FYE curriculum, and teaching methodologies. The paper discusses some of the corrective measures already undertaken, and also those being planned.


Engineering education in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is challenging for students as well as teachers for a number of reasons. For students, the reasons being new university environment, new engineering curriculum, teaching and learning styles and socio-cultural influences. For teachers, the reasons may include having to teach students with diverse socio-cultural background and weak analytical ability, changing technological curriculum and its relevance to industry, and financial constraints.

The challenges faced by students and teachers seem to be partly related to geographic, socio - cultural and economic factors. Papua New Guinea comprises the mainland Papua New Guinea and over 600 offshore islands with total land area of about 465,000 km 2. Most islands are volcanic and rugged mountainous land covered with thick forests. Surface transportation is extremely limited and the most common form of travel is b y air. About 80% of the four and a half million PNG population is thinly distributed across the land in the form of small tribal communities isolated from each other making provision of infrastructure such as electricity, telephone, water supply and roads to these communities very difficult and costly. Papua New Guineans speak over eight hundred languages. Each tribal community has its distinct language and cultural trait. Rural inhabitants are mostly subsistence farmers. About 20% of the PNG population lives in 10 urban centers.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

Main Menu

Satter, M. A., & Pumwa, J. (2002, June), Some Problems And Measures For Improving Mechanical Engineering Education At The Papua New Guinea University Of Technology Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10640

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015