Non-School Leavers Applications for HEIs will be administered by DHERST for 2024

Image by Andrew Tan from Pixabay


As the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, Technology, and Sports. I am pleased to announce to the public that commencing this year, for the academic year 2025, the selection of non-school leavers will no longer  be conducted manually by registered higher education institutions, including universities.

Starting Year is 2024 for   2025 academic year

In the year 2024, the National Online Selection System (NOSS) and National Online Application systems (NOAS)  are slated for expansion to encompass non-school leavers, marking a significant development in higher education accessibility.

As an initial measure HEIs Selectors interface is being enhanced to enable the simultaneous definition of program quotas, requirements, and rankings for both school leavers and non-school leavers. Non-School leaver quotas will be established in a manner consistent with that of school leavers, ensuring alignment with maximum HEIs quotas as defined by DHERST Quality Assurance Division, reflective of institutional capacity. Requirements for non-school leavers will parallel those for school leavers, with flexibility for HEIs to incorporate additional local criteria such as work experience. Rankings for non-school leavers, built upon existing school leaver criteria, will factor in local requirements as designed by HEIs.

Inclusion of Centers of Distance Education

In the subsequent phase, DHERST will proceed to create accounts for Centers of Distance Education (CDEs), including entities such as FODE (Central and provincial centers) and Universities, Matriculation Centers, such as PNG UoT, DWU and UOG. These entities will be tasked with submitting nomination lists to DHERST for students who have either completed Grade 12 exams outside of conventional secondary school environment or have undergone results upgrades.

The application process for non-school leavers will commence upon the submission of nomination lists from CDEs. Eligible non-school leavers list therein may obtain invitation letters from their respective CDEs. Former school leavers opting not to upgrade their Grade 12 results will have the option to reactivate their NOAS account to participate in selection as non-school leavers.

The application procedure for non-school leavers will mirror that of the school leavers, albeit limited to programs with designated non-school leaver quotas. Non-School leavers may apply five prioritized programs and submit backup applications. Following selection, non-school leavers will be placed in the National Admission Pool.

Reason for the integration of Non-School Leaver Application

The integration of non-school leavers into NOSS and NOAS systems is envisioned to streamline the selection process while upholding principles of transparency, efficiency, and accountability. It is important to note that an age limit will be instituted for non-school leavers applying to regular academic programs.

This extension of NOAS and  NOSS to encompass non-school leavers marks the inaugural phase of a comprehensive higher education management system, poised to encompass TESAS, including travel support, quality assurance programs, and significant extensions to existing modules.

I hereby announce to the public and all higher education institutions (HEIs), including universities, that beginning this year, student selection procedures will be conducted solely through digital platforms. I encourage all HEIs to liaise with the Department and jointly embrace this innovative initiative. Our collective aim is to improve the sector by enhancing quality, accessibility, student success, and academic attainment through digitalization. This endeavor will contribute significantly to nurturing the necessary human capital required to advance Papua New Guinea’s socio-economic development agenda.

Hon.Don Pom Polye, CMG, BE(Civil), MBA, MIEPNG, MP Minister of Higher Education Research Science, Technology & Sports. Image Credit:

Note: This was a public media release by DHERST. Only the headings were added for clarity.