Application for UPNG Open College for 2022 IS Open till 31 January 2022 for Grade 12s

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University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) is a dual mode university, meaning it has been enrolling undergraduate students to study through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode since 2004 as well as normal On Campus face to face mode. Lot of students have successfully completed their Bachelor’s degree through ODL  mode and are now working in various fields in the country and overseas.

How students are admitted to study at UPNG Open College

From 2004 and up to 2020, when Grade 12 School Leaver (SLF)  selections were done by the institutions themselves, UPNG used to screen all the Grade 12 School Leaver forms and fill up spaces for both it’s ON Campus and External Mode. Student quota and limited scholarship allocation from DHERST has made it quite possible to accept all students who apply to study at UPNG. So, once the quota for On Campus student is filled, students who have met the GPA requirements but cannot make it into the top quota are given the offer to study through Open and Distance Learning as External Students. Their learning and support services is provided through UPNG Open College, which is a unit within UPNG which is responsible for administrative support for External students throughout the 5 Regional Open Campuses and University Centers across PNG.

Selection after DHERST introduced the National Online System (NOS)

In 2020, DHERST introduced the National Online System (NOS), so manual selection of Grade 12 students by respective tertiary institutions  ceased and selection was automated through the NOS. This meant that UPNG cannot able to select students who met the GPA but cannot get into the top quota set by NOS for it’s External Programs.

Therefore, UPNG has allowed for fresh Grade 12 students who missed out on the NOS Selection to apply to study via Open College as External Students each year. This around of Application is Open for the whole month of January and ends on the 31st of each academic year.

Eligible students are then selected from this application round and successful students can register at any of the Open College campuses and study centers around the country that is near them.

Programs on Offer through UPNG Open College (External Studies)

Undergraduate programs

Business Management Foundation Year under the School of Business and Public Policy (SBPP).

 It is a one-year program and upon completion of the  required course units-students have the option to complete the Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in Accounting and Bachelors in Accounting as External Students. Or they can apply and to become on Campus student. In order to become On Campus, students will have to complete all the required units of the Foundation Year and apply to SBPP. The reason for application again is because, there is very limited space because there is already ON-Campus mode of students progressing into 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year so the school cannot fit in all students who wish to migrate to from being External mode.

Eligibility Criteria

A valid Grade 12 certificate or equivalent with a minimum of 1.75 with the following conditions:

  • C” or better grades in English
  • C” or better grades in Advanced Mathematics or Mathematics A, or “B” or better grade in General Mathematics or Mathematics B.
  • In addition, two of the following courses, with a grade of “C” and above, will be considered to calculate the GPA: – Economics, Accounting, Business Studies, Geography, History or subjects of Natural and Physical Sciences.

Science Foundation Year (SFY)-School of Natural and Physical Sciences.

This is also First Year program. Unfortunately, the program is offered ONLY through NCD UPNG Open Campus. This is because of the lack of adequate science lab facilities at the regional campuses and universities in the other provinces for lab based course like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and etc. Also, the issue of availability of qualified lectures in those centers.

Students who successfully complete the Science Foundation Year Program course units then apply to stream into their desired Bachelor’s program in any of the Science Strands at UPNG Main Campus as on campus during the 2nd year and onwards. They can also apply to do Medical Science programs offered under the UPNG School of Medical Sciences at Taurama  Campus at the back of Port Moresby General Hospital.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must study ALL the following five subjects in Grade 12 to be considered for the UPNG Science Foundation Year:

    • English (Language & Literature or Applied English,
    • Advance Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is computed for all 5 courses.

  1. The minimum required GPA for selection is 3.00
  2. English and Advance Mathematics must be “B” minimum grade.
  3. Students doing only two sciences subjects will not be considered.

NOTE: General Mathematics in Grade 12 is not considered for Science Foundation. Non School Leavers

  1. All Non School Leavers will have to meet all the above Selection Criteria and
  2. If upgrading Advance Mathematics, you must do the Applied Finite Mathematics course at UPNG and you must score a minimum “CR” grade.

NOTE: Upgrading Mathematics elsewhere will not be accepted or considered by the School.

Bachelor of Arts (Year 1)-School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)

Humanities and Social Sciences offers two programs under Open College. Bachelor of Arts First Year and Bachelor of Arts (Professional Studies in Education).

Bachelor of Arts First Year

This is also first year and upon completion of the first year, students apply to stream into their desired Bachelor’s programs and continue their studies as on campus student.

This is for Grade 12 School Leavers only.

Eligibility Criteria

Successful completion of Grade 12 with the following grades:

  • C/B Grade in English,
  • B Grade average in two or more Social Sciences subjects, or
  • B Grade average in two or more Science subjects or, an equivalent of Grade 12 qualification with similar grade or GPA of 2.5.


This program is especially for teachers who are already teaching and wish to acquire a Bachelors Degree while working or take time to study and complete it.

Intending applicants to do the undergraduate “Bachelor of Arts Program- (Professional Studies in Education)” of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences should meet the following conditions:

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum of five years of professional experience in teaching at Primary School level in PNG with;

  • Diploma in Education (P/S)
  • Certificate in Teaching (P)

Those with relevant professional experience in human resource development and training are also eligible.

Those who are interested to apply must apply as NON-School Leaver Application when UPNG calls Applications through the public media. This is normally around June and July of each year.

The January round of applications is for Grade 12 only.

Program Progression and Fees

Student’s study progression in each of the programs is quite different from those studying the same program as On Campus students. This is an important matter for students, parents and sponsors to take note of. The program fees for External Students are charged per course unit. Current (2022) course unit fee is K600.00 per course unit per semester. Additional K50.00 Per course unit is charged for NCD Open Campus and Morobe/Lae university centre as administrative fee.

For Science Foundation Year (SFY) course units which require Practical Labs the unit course fee is K900.00

For progression, students can take a minimum of one (1) course unit and maximum of four (4) course units per semester. Students who wish to take more than 4 course units in a semester can discuss it with the Study Center Director.

Completion of the program is pretty much determined by completing the required number of course units. So, students need to plan their study well. For example, if a student is accepted for Science Foundation Year (SFY),can afford the course fees and decides to take all semester course units in the first and second semester,  then he/she can complete the Foundation Year in one year. If he/she cannot afford the fees, then he/she can space the units out and complete in 2 years.  So it’s up to the students, parents and sponsors to plan the progress in relation to how long it will take.

Total fees payable each semester   = Total Course Units x Course Unit Price

Certificate Programs

UPNG Open College also offers Certificate Programs as bridging programs to Bachelor Programs. These are administered 100% by Open College. There is no application required for these programs. Grade 12 students who have not done well in certain subject areas can visit a UPNG Study Center near them with their Grade 12 certificate and center staff will assist with course selection and enrollment into any of the certificate programs of their choice.

After completing the and gaining a Certificate, the student can then apply for Bachelor’s Program as Non-School Leaver to either UPNG or any other tertiary institutions in PNG.

How to Apply

To apply, download the application and the course information below.

Download Application Form

Download Information Document

Same documents can be obtained from

Note: Year is 2021 but Application is still valid for 2022.