Friday, 11 October 2019 01:26

Education issues discussed in faculty symposium

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It is that time of the year in Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea when faculties and departments are busy hosting symposiums and various project presentations.

The symposiums and project presentations are mostly for assessment purposes for students while staff present their research work for their development as academics.

Last Friday 4 October was the turn of two academic departments, Information Systems and Mathematics & Computing Sciences to present their students’ project work.

In the weeks before that, the University hosted the 4th National Environmental Health Symposium spearheaded by the Department of Environmental Health, the Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo by the Tourism and Hospitality Management Department, Faculty of Arts of Arts and Social Sciences "Maror" Symposium and Business Ethics Symposium of the Business Studies Department.

Today, Friday 11 October is the turn of the Faculty of Education to host a symposium. The Faculty is hosting its 3rd annual Research Symposium in the Madang campus in both the SVD Memorial Auditorium and Sir Peter Barter Auditorium.

The symposium is a platform for students and staff in the Faculty of Education to present their research work. The presentations highlight the various issues and developments in the field of education in Papua New Guinea as observed by the students and staff researchers in the faculty.

The presentations have been grouped into four themes. The themes are, (1) Challenges in teaching and learning, (2) Teacher training and staff development, (3) Management of curriculum implementation and (4) Management of school resources.

DWU Vice president for Academic Affairs and Acting Vice President for Research Professor Pamela Norman gave the opening remarks while the guest speaker was Mr Baran Sori, Chair of the PNG Teaching Services Commission.

DWU Deputy President Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD gave the keynote address. A panel discussion follows after lunch today.

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 07:18

DWU welcomes new Deputy President

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                                                                                                                         Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD and Professor Pamela Norman cutting the cake to mark
                                                                                                              the occassion and looking on is DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou. Photo by Dr Kevin Pamba.


Divine Word University has a new Deputy President.

He is Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD, a long-serving Catholic priest and researcher originally from New Zealand who has served in Papua New Guinea for many years.

Prof Gibbs served DWU as the Vice President for Research and Higher degrees until his appointment to the second highest post in the Madang-headquartered University.  Prof Gibbs officially took office on Monday 2nd September 2019 and will serve for three years.

Professor Gibbs takes over from Professor Pamela Norman who served in the office for the last three and half years. Professor Norman, who has been with DWU since 2004, continues in her substantive role as the Vice President for Academic Affairs responsible for all academic programs and she is also the Professor of Education in the University.

A formal handover take-over ceremony between Prof Gibbs and Prof Norman took place in a “traditional” DWU morning tea in front of three members of the University Council and DWU staff at the staff mess in the Madang campus last Wednesday 28 August 2019.

Three members of the University Council were the DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou, Sir Peter Barter and Fr Josef Maciolek SVD who is the Provincial Superior or head of the PNG Province of Societi Verbi Divini (SVD), which is Latin for Society of the Divine Word.

The University Council chairperson Archbishop Douglas Young SVD announced the appointment of Prof Gibbs’ appointment during the last Council Meeting in July to be effective on 1st September 2019.

Professor Gibbs will be based in the main campus in Madang while the President Prof Nembou is based at the Port Moresby campus of DWU.

Professor Nembou offered her utmost appreciation to Prof Norman for her outstanding service as the Deputy President for three and half years and welcomed Prof Gibbs to the role.

Prof Nembou said her outgoing deputy is one of the most professional and astute academic leaders and administrators she has worked with and would miss her.

“She is an amazing person.”

“We all know the kind of work she does.”

“How many people 10 years, 20 years younger than her can do the kind of work she does?” Prof Nembou asked.

“She does three jobs (and) she does them all very well,” said Prof Nembou.

“This morning I want to acknowledge the support she has given me as (my) Deputy President,” Prof Nembou said.

“And on behalf of the Council, I would like to welcome Fr Philip Gibbs as the Deputy President for the next three years.

“You all know Fr Philip Gibbs.

“He has been the Vice President for Research and Higher Degrees. “He is a former member of the University Council. “He is a member of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries PNG Province and he came to the University as a member of staff starting as head of the Department of Governance and Leadership.

“We gave him the responsibilities as Vice President of Research and Higher Degrees and last July (2019) he was appointed as Deputy President.

“So I ask all of you (staff), all of us, to work together with Fr Philip,” said Prof Nembou.

The President in welcoming her new deputy also said Prof Gibbs brings with him a wealth of experience as a researcher involved in various capacities in the country besides his pastoral duties.

Sir Peter also congratulated the two professors for being outstanding professional academics for whom the DWU Council has in high regard.

Prof Norman said she was very proud to serve DWU in her role as Deputy President was also keen to be relieved of the role and concentrate on her substantive position.

Prof Norman said she is proud to have worked with many wonderful people in DWU and elsewhere after arriving in PNG from Australia during the colonial times as a teacher in 1964.

Prof Gibbs said he was pleased to take up the new role and work with the President and everyone to take the University forward.

“I will do my best,” said Prof Gibbs.

Prof Gibbs also said as a graduate of DWU, having graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) several years ago, he was keen to make a contribution as an alumnus besides his other academic, research, administration and pastoral credentials.

Photos in the image gallery below are from Dr Kevin Pamba

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 01:35

DWU informs Grade 12s about programs

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                                                                Miriam Sange (left) from DWU explaining the academic requirements of the University to students from Gerehu Secondary School.

                                                                 Photo by Mackenzie Mistera

In the cut-throat world of modern education, professional career and life in general, making the right educational choices is critical.

Students in the lower levels of education ought to make these all-important choices at one time in their lives for further study to set themselves up on the path for enriching future.

The students with the support of their parents and schools have to be sensitized about the further study options that are available so they can make informed decisions.

Career and further education expositions hosted by various stakeholders for schools continue to play an important part in the choices students make for further studies and ultimately the kinds of careers and vocations they take up in life.

The week-long National Capital District/Central Province Schools Career Expo is one such occasion that provides the opportunity to students in secondary and national high schools in the two provinces embarking on further education.

The expo hosted in the Port Moresby National High School from Monday 12 August to Friday 16 August this year provided the avenue for Grade 12 students in the secondary and national high schools in the two provinces to decide and make right choices for further studies.

Among the exhibitors that show-cased their academics programs particularly at the undergraduate full time level was the Divine Word University (DWU), a leading university in PNG known for its innovative approaches to enhancing its academic programs and administration.

The DWU was represented by a team of three from the main campus in Madang which included the Registrar Mrs Cecilia N’Drower, Miriam Sange and Mackenzie Mistera.

The team was assisted by the staff of the DWU Port Moresby campus. This was the second career expo DWU attended this year after the first one at the University of Goroka few months ago.

Some students at the expo said they were privileged because the exposition enabled them to make wise choices and decisions about further student and also informed them about some of the institutions that they were not aware but are there for future study opportunities in PNG and overseas.

Others said they were interested about the programs DWU offers.

Mrs N’Drower said programs offered in DWU require mostly ‘A’ and ‘B’ Grades for grade 12 leavers to be selected.

The Registrar said DWU has programs that cater for students majoring in the Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences in the secondary schools.

She added that scoring of higher Grade Point Average (GPA) does not guarantee a place to a student as selection also involves consideration of important factors such as the subject combinations someone takes in secondary or national high schools that are compatible with the academic programs chosen.

DWU has four faculties, each of which offer different programs through their academic departments. Most undergraduate fulltime academic programs are offered in the main campus in Madang with the DWU campuses in Wewak and Rabaul (Kokopo) offering undergraduate programs in primary teaching and general nursing. Interested Grade 12 students can check out the range of programs offered by DWU on its Website  

Report by Mackenzie Mistera from DWU Marketing.


Photos in the image gallery below are from Mackenzie Mistera

Friday, 23 August 2019 22:06

Third DWU Alumni Fundraising Dinner

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                                                                  President of the DWU Alumni Association Madang Chapter Elayne Albaniel Bahin with Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare

                                                                  during the 2017 inaugural Alumni Corporate Fundraising Dinner.


The Divine Word University’s Alumni Association is hosting a Corporate Dinner in Madang Resort Hotel tonight Saturday, 24 August.

This is the third Alumni Corporate Dinner since its inauguration in Madang at the same venue in 2017. The second Corporate Dinner was held in Port Moresby last year (2018).

Funds raised from the dinner will go to the DWU Endowment Fund to assist the University with future projects, such infrastructure meant to enhance its standards to deliver quality higher education. The dinner will see live-paintings by the renowned contemporary PNG artist, Jeffrey Feeger with Madang music icon Demas Saul providing live music entertainment throughout the evening.

The tickets were going for K500 a person, or K5000 for a table of 10 people.

If you are a DWU Alumni and in Madang around this time or are parent and a relative of an alumni or current student, this is the perfect opportunity for you to come along and mingle with the alumni to support our University for a worthy cause to continue to build our university for the future generations.  Report by Rachel Shisei, Communications Officer, DWU Marketing

Photos in the gallery below are from the inaugural Alumni Corporate Fundraising Dinner in 2017.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 23:46

DWU hosts Vice Chancellors meeting today

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                                                                             DWU President and Vice Chancellor Professor Cecilia Nembou at the VCs meeting this morning. Photo: Dr Kevin Pamba


DWU is proud to host the Vice Chancellors of our universities Papua New Guinea at the Madang campus today for the Vice PNG Chancellors Committee meeting.

Professor Musawe Sinebare, VC of the University of Goroka is the chair of the VCs Committee.

DWU is represented by our President & VC Professor Cecilia Nembou and our incoming Deputy President Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD.

                                                                     Photos in the gallery below courtesy of Dr Kevin Pamba

Sunday, 18 August 2019 23:27

Students host a colourful Cultural Day

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                                                                Madang students in their traditional attire entering the arena of the 2019 Cultural Day to perform. Photo by Dr Kevin Pamba

The Divine Word University students in Madang hosted a colourful display of the diverse indigenous cultures of Papua New Guinea during their “Cultural Day” last Saturday (17 Aug).

Twenty three (23) cultural groups from all provinces with one group made up of students from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, participated in a festival of singing and dancing in the Madang campus.

Mr Kevin Murray, the President of the Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry opened the festival and applauded the students and the University for setting aside a day each year to acknowledge the indigenous roots of the students.

The event was a blissful success with hundreds of people including international tourists and the expatriate community in Madang enjoying the sights and sounds of the day befitting of the theme "How wonderful it is, how pleasant for God's people to embrace and showcase our diverse cultures in harmony!"

On Friday evening the cultural groups participated in the Cultural Parade to showcase the different performances and attires that would be on show in the main event the next day.

The Parade Night hosted in the SVD Memorial Auditorium was a resounding success witnessed by our President Professor Cecilia Nembou, Mr Murray, Vice President Research and Higher Degrees, Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD and Vice President Student Affairs, Mr Ted Alau among other staff, students, parents and the public.

The Cultural Day made a return after a year. The annual festival was not held last year in a show of Melanesian cultural respect for a student who passed on in the days leading up to the planned event. The Cultural Day is a calendar event hosted by the students under the auspices of the Students Representative Council. This year's event was hosted under the leadership of SRC President Mr Bilu Kasanda and the Cultural Day Committee chaired by student leader Mr Vai Reva.


Photos of the Cultural Day shared in the image gallery below are courtesy of Dr Kevin Pamba and Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD.

Thursday, 25 July 2019 05:07

DW alumna is first female dean of FMHS

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Associate Professor Susanna Andrias Khobu PhD is the new Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) in Divine Word University. She is an alumna of DWU and the first female to assume the position since the faculty came into existence in the mid-2000s.

Associate Professor Khobu replaces veteran health education professional Mr Kari Totona who returns to the Department of Environment Health within the Faculty.

The FMHS is one of four faculties in Divine Word University (DWU) and it is the largest with seven departments. The departments are Environmental Health, Health Extension (Rural Health), Health Management, Rehabilitation Sciences, Public Health Leadership and Training, Medicine and Nursing, the latter located at two nursing schools in DWU’s Vunapope, Rabaul campus and the St Benedict’s campus at Kaindi, Wewak.

“The offer to be a Faculty Dean was a surprise because I only expressed interest to teach when I learnt that Divine Word University required lecturers for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program,” Dr Khobu said.

 She commenced teaching at the beginning of this academic year on an Associate Professor of Medicine position in the Department of Medicine in FMHS.

She has over 12 years of experience in academic teaching at the previous Medical Faculty of University of Papua New Guinea, and has involved in the problem based learning (PBL) curriculum for graduate medical students at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia.

Associate Professor Khobu is a practicing medical doctor and a physiologist by profession. She is also an entrepreneur who managed her own health consultancy company before joining DWU. She is a Divine Word University Alumna, being a student of the Divine Word High School in the mid-1970s with Father Kenneth Feehan SVD being the pioneer headmaster of the school.

 She has qualifications ranging from an MBBS from the University of PNG, a Master of Science in Physiology from the University of London, United Kingdom, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medicine from the University of Sydney, Australia, plus several certificates in Emergency Response, Occupational Health & Safety, Certificate IV in Training & Assessments, Accounting & Business and certificates in various other fields..

 “Knowing that there are challenges with this role, I feel a sense of responsibility to be able to move a huge ship along but with the priority to students and staff members’ academic excellence and personal welfare, I gratefully accepted.

“I am confident that my experiences in the fields of my profession will help me add value to the faculty and DWU as I work with all my colleagues and the management of this University,” said Dr Khobu.

Along with the role of Dean, Associate Professor Khobu lectures her class of 125 first year students in Rural Health, Rehabilitation Sciences and Medicine programs, which she believes is important.

She lectures on the fundamental basic medical science concepts in Physiology and Anatomy, which form the basis of the students’ clinical practice.

“As for the MBBS program, it is the second in the country.

“We target at producing highly competent graduates who will contribute to the University’s reputation, good standing in academic excellence and who will competently and effectively handle the country’s health issues and disease burdens,” Dr Khobu stated.

“We also want these graduates to know that they can work equally competently in any international arena of engagement.”

Dr Khobu’s quote to get by in life is: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all thy might” and her encouragement to other women (and men alike) is in three words, “Believe in yourself”. Ends/

  • Report by Rachel Shisei is a Communications Officer in the DWU Marketing Division.

Thursday, 25 July 2019 04:51

Catholic health managers learn about DWU programs

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A team from the Divine Word University’s Flexible Learning Centre (FLC) participated at the Mamose regional Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Conference in Madang. The

The FLC team from the main campus in Madang led by Mrs Cathy Pamba was invited to talk to participants about programs offered under the flexible learning mode that the Catholic Church Health Services managers and officers in the provinces could take up.

The DWU team was at the conference on Thursday 18 July 2019.  The conference was held at the Alexishafen Conference Centre of the Catholic Archdiocese of Madang.

Mrs Pamba presented an overview of DWU and the flexible learning programs that were offered for working professionals.

She highlighted the FL programs available for health professionals and they are the Master of Public Health (Health Service Management), Bachelor Rural Health (for HEOs in-service) and Diploma in Health Services Management.

Mrs Pamba also spoke about other DWU programs offered through the flexible mode and the support services available for FL students. Those interested for the details of the programs can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or they can go online on the DWU Website at

Members of the FL team Wapu Urisip and Eunice Sange were on hand at the conference and distributed program information and application forms much to the appreciation of the participants.

The Catholic health managers and officers were very pleased to hear about the programs offered at DWU.

Conference organizer and Madang Archdiocese Health Service Manager Ms Nola Marita said they were grateful that Mrs Pamba and her team from DWU attended the meeting and talked about the programs.

Ms Marita said the conference was the first for the CCHS in Mamose and they were pleased that the managers and officers attended.

On Tuesday July 18, the Head of the Health Management Department Dr Tabian Ambang spoke at the conference on Visions 2050.

The week-long Mamose regional Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Conference ended on Friday 19 July with a closing dinner and presentation by Archbishop Stephen Reichert OFM Cap from the Archdiocese of Madang. 

Report and pictures by Dr Kevin Pamba  

Thursday, 27 June 2019 23:08

DWU attends career expo

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Divine Word University (DWU) participated at the 2019 Career Exposition hosted at the University of Goroka in Eastern Highlands Province from 5 June to 6 June.

A team from DWU was at the two-day exposition and took the opportunity to inform prospective students about the programs the University offers in its main campus in Madang and other campuses around the country.

The two-day event brought many tertiary institutions like DWU to set up program display booths and talk to students and teachers from high schools and secondary schools in this part of the Highlands.

The students were informed about the entry requirements of Grade 12 students for each tertiary institution for further studies.

Non-school leavers and working professionals including prisoners also attended and received information about the study programs.

The higher learning institutions also highlighted different policies for students to follow once they were selected and enrolled to study.

Mr Ted Alau Vice President (Student Affairs) of DWU told the students gathered that it was crucial they scored good grades to have better Grade Point Average (GPA) scores to be considered for university studies.

Mr Alau also reminded the students about good behavior that plays a part in their pursuits for further education.

Students from the various high schools, secondary schools, technical institutions and universities, who attended were pleased with the two-day expo, which assisted the students to make their choices for further education.

Most students and teachers were delighted about the event, which gave the appropriate information for further education. They thanked the University of Goroka for hosting the event adding that they looked for to the next one.

Marina Waita from the DWU Office of the Registrar said so many students flocked to the DWU booth and the University team was kept busy with questions and requests for information for studies.

Ms Waita said students mostly asked for entry requirements of the different programs and especially the GPA requirements. She said non-school leavers were there too and received information about enrolment in DWU.

Ms Waita said working professionals also turned up at the DWU booth and received information about the University’ popular flexible learning programs for adult learners. DWU participated in the Career Exposition last year and would participate in future events. The DWU was represented at the 2019 Expo by a three-member team comprising Mr Alau, Ms Waita and Mackenzie Mistera from the DWU Marketing Division.

Story by Mackenzie Mistera of the DWU Marketing Division

Divine Word University is once again calling for nominations for the annual Distinguished Alumnae Award. Graduates and members of the public who know outstanding DWU graduates who are doing great things are encouraged to nominate such a person.

Divine Word University established the annual Distinguished Alumnae Award to recognize outstanding individuals (its graduates) and to celebrate their achievements. The Award will be given to those who have attained extraordinary distinction in their chosen professional fields, in service to society, or by support to Divine Word University and serve as an example to all members of the DWU Community. This Award not only serves to bestow recognition and appreciation on individuals, but also honors the legacy of the University and instills pride in the DWU community-at-large.

All members of the public who know an exceptional DWU graduate doing greats in the community out there are asked fill in the alumni form online and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Deadline for nominations is Friday 14 June 2019.

Access the nomination form in the link below.

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Madang Campus

PO Box 483,
Madang 511
Papua New Guinea


Tel: (+675) 424 1800
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Tabubil Campus

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Tel: (+675) 325 5668
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