Tips for Tertiary

By Daphne Rasehei & Rositta Liosi – EMTV Online

It’s the beginning of the year and you’re fresh out of high school, ready for the next chapter in your life. And, you’ve just got the news that you have been accepted into university.

Congratulations! This is obviously exciting news and you and your family are over the moon. But you’re also probably rather nervous about what to expect because for many of you this could mean living on your own.

Not to worry, a lot of new things start off scary, but here are a few tips to help you throughout the initial stages of this new time in your life.

(Image: One of the oldest student graduate was Ricky Mitio, 65. Mr Mitio (second from right) graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Papua New Guinea Divine Word University).

University Fees

School fees vary from university to university.

  • The newspapers usually provide fee structures for the New Year.  
  • There is a compulsory fee for both residential and non-residential students.

Boarding Fees

  • Your acceptance letter from the Office of Higher Education will provide details of your scholarship
  • Based on your scholarship you will be able to identify the fees (from the fee structure) that you are required to pay
  • Be aware that fees may increase pursuant to boarding status (i.e. whether you decide to reside on campus).
  • If you do decide to reside on campus you also need to take note of the type of room you get allocated (i.e. single or twin share)
  • Boarding fees will also include a compulsory bond fee which is a separate charge from the actual boarding fee.


  • Most universities have their respective bookshops where students usually purchase textbooks.
  • Costs may vary and are often quite costly.


 (Image: Medical Students from the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Science)


Registration is an integral part of every university and is the first thing you do when you get on campus.

  • Your acceptance letter from the university will provide dates of registration and commencement of the schooling year.
  • Be sure to make enquiries with your respective universities ahead of time to confirm that no dates have been changed.
  • Be sure to get to school ahead of time as there are always so many freshmen that have to get registered and this process can be quite tedious.
  • Timetables are usually provided at the beginning of the year. Make sure you get that prior to narrowing down what exact courses your taking so as to make sure you’re not missing out on anything.
  • Photos for ID cards are usually taken during registration (try to look your best as it could serve as you’re ID photo for the years you’ll spend in university).

(Image: Orientation at the Pacific Adventist University)


Know your campus. As soon as you get registration out of the way the next step would be to get to know your campus. Especially if you’re in a new province or if you just have no clue as to where anything is.

  • As freshmen the university usually allocates a day for orientation (dates should also be provided in your acceptance letter from respective universities).
  • Do attend orientation, that’s the best way to get to know your campus.
  • During this time you will also get to meet new people (don’t be shy).
  • In the event you do miss orientation look for a friend from your high school that knows the grounds or someone who can help show you around.
  • Getting to familiarise yourself with your campus is best done before school starts to avoid spending so much time wondering around campus trying to figure out where you need to be the day of.

(Image: Papua New Guinea University of Technology Library) 

Halls of Residence & the Mess

If you are going to reside on campus your dormitory is where you’re going to spend most of the year.

  • Be sure to know which dorm you’re going to be residing in.
  • If you have a roommate(s) get to know them and don’t forget to get their phone number(s) in case you lock yourself out of your room (trust me it does happen).
  • When it comes to electrical appliances in your rooms, do take note of what you can have in your room. Some universities restrict the types and amount of electrical appliances you can have in a room.

The mess will be your kitchen for the year.

  • First things first, make sure you know where it is
  • Know what times the mess is open and when it closes (you don’t want to miss out on a meal).
  • It might take time for you to get used to the food, but it’s all you’ll have to eat if you can’t buy anything else.

The above may or may not apply to a specific university, it is hoped that it will assist you whilst you begin the next chapter in your life.

Once you’re on campus and settled in, everything will be as it once was. Take time to enjoy it because before you know it your time there will be up. 

(Image: University of Goroka Residency Hall)

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