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The Transition from TESAS to HELP : What you need to Know

We welcome the New Year 2020 and the changes and  challenges the new decade brings. In addition to personal  change for each one of us, we will together witness the  transformation of Higher Education in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

In 2020 our students will receive greater assistance with the  introduction of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)  and the phasing out of Tertiary Education Study Assistance  Scheme (TESAS).
The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape MP and the Hon.  Nick Kuman MP, Minister of Higher Education, Research,  Science and Technology have instructed the Department
to introduce the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)  commencing second semester 2020.
The second semester commencement of HELP provides  time for students, parents and sponsors to learn more about the support available through HELP assistance.
Second semester timing also provides students with  enough time to obtain their National Identification (NID)  Card and Tax Identification Number. These are important pre-requisite requirements when submitting Applications  for HELP.

Hence, during the period January to May 2020, there will  be a transition from TESAS to HELP. We will be working  very closely with all Higher Education Institutions over  the transition period to ensure that all students are well  informed about HELP.

The objective of HELP is to assist as many students as possible  to gain entry to universities or colleges; to offer high quality  education; and most importantly, help students to succeed
once they have enrolled. The fundamental reorientation in  the financing and quality higher education is profound and  will enable students to meet their educational goals, whether  they are pursuing a degree or striving towards some other  educational objective.

The most significant immediate impact will come from  the financing of renewable HELP Studentships. HELP will  provide student support for multiple years of study as long
as students continue to meet the required academic and  non-academic criteria. HELP will offer a new state-of-theart loan servicing system – a system that creates incentives  and guidelines that support a more user-friendly single  online loan management platform. This relieves the heavy
up-front debt burden on students and their families to  cover the increasing costs of higher education. Combining  this support under one HELP umbrella makes it simpler for  Students, Parents, Sponsors and the Government.

HELP will also be available for PhD, Doctoral, Masters and  other postgraduate programs, meeting the Government’s
goal in providing a full range of quality education at the  post-secondary level and beyond.

What will happen between now and May 2020:
As of May 2020, TESAS awards will cease for good and  HELP financing will commence. HELP will be the only available Studentship for all students for years to come.

Students interested in making an application for HELP financing have time to obtain their National  Identification (NID) Card and the Tax Identification  Number - important pre-requisites for making a HELP application.

HELP applications will open from 27 April 2020, online  via the DHERST web-site and as notified in press and  media advertising.

Existing TESAS awardees will have the opportunity to  elect to transfer to HELP under new student contract  conditions, currently being developed.

DHERST, together with other Government Agencies and  the Higher Education Institutions, will finalize legislation  to establish and operate the PNG-HELP FUND financing renewable studentships into the long term.

We will finalize policy positions, terms, and conditions  on such matters as eligibility criteria, application and  assessment processes, loan agreements, lending  guidelines and other matters made in accordance  with regulations under the Higher Education (General  Provisions) Act.

We will develop the full operational requirements of PNG-HELP in accordance with the Public Finance  (Management) Act in readiness for the commencement  of loan applications and the issuing of loans for the  commencement of the second semester of 2020  academic year.

We will finalize medium-term funding agreements with  the participating Higher Education Institutions based on  student fee enrolments and the 5-Year Higher Education  Sector Plan and Budget.

We will regularly update our students, Higher Education  Institutions and the public on progress. Under DHERST’s 5-Year Sector Planning for financing the  Higher Education, HELP will become a significant source of funding for the Higher Education Institutions

Press Release by DHERST

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