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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Church Steps Up Plans for Own University
May 29, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Plans by the Church of Melanesia to set up its own university has been stepped up following an appointment of a Taskforce Committee who met for the first time last weekend to drive the project forward.

The Committee selected from a wider cross-section of the government, private and Church institutions is a group of experts mandated to oversee the implementation of the project through their plans and advice to the management.

COM Tertiary Institution Project Manager Mr. Philip Kapini confirmed that the project is a huge undertaking by the Church that needs the concerted effort of everyone in its implementation.

"This project will be carried out in stages and like all projects, funds to implement it will have to be found and the committee or management for that matter will be tasked to outsource funds from abroad and locally.

"My immediate task is to liaise with the Government through the Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Training to discuss the project and get further information that would assist in the establishment of the university," he said.

Mr. Kapini said the Taskforce has received assurance that the government in its current policy encourages and fully supports private organisations and Churches in setting up such tertiary institutions.

"In order to realize these plans, the Church will continue to seek active involvement of government and other organizations."

He said the next phase of the preliminary work is to look at the architectural and engineering work to develop a visual concept to be put into a context that reflects the setting suitable for us.

The university is anticipating a fully fledged programme on theology and health with emphasis on designing the course programmes that would be attractive to encourage and enable private students to enroll.

He said a land of almost 200 hectares has already been secured at a cost of 2.6 million dollars behind Black Post area on north Guadalcanal and landowners have given their full backing for the project in anticipation of the spin-offs from the establishment.

A plan to set up the university follows the need to relocate BPTC on west Guadalcanal after the ethnic tension.

BPTC is currently running university level programmes.