HELP Studentships: What Are the Benefits? Media Statement

Below is an adapted version of the media statement released by DHERST per the HELP (PNG Higher Education Loan Program) studentship load program for 2020. The original version can be found via the link provided below. 

HELP Loan PNG HEI
IMAGE: DHERST Media Release

Key points about PNG Higher Education Loan Program

  • HELP student loan is 'interest-free' with lenient repayment plans and schedules
  • Application for HELP is online via DHERST website
  • Students will begin repayments on their loan about six months after their graduation
  • HELP studentships will commence during the opening of the first semester of the academic year 2020.
  • You DO NOT have to get the loan if you can afford to pay higher-education fees or have secured a sponsorship.
  • HELP covers a wide range of students as long as the students secured a place at a tertiary institution in the country: self-sponsored, drop-outs/self-withdrawn, selected students, post-graduate students, etc
One disparity between an NBC new article (READ IT HERE) and this press release is the difference in HELP 'commencement dates'. But, understandably the date of commencement stated by DHERST (first semester of the academic year 2020) could be considered.

HELP is 'far-reaching'

Government is committed to providing financial assistance to students this year through the innovative and far-reaching HELP program that has been carefully designed with the PNG context in mind.

Whilst we wish to reward academic excellence, it should be noted that HELP will fund those students who, for different reasons, may have not met the qualifying criteria for TESAS.

To clarify the situation, during this academic year a full awareness-raising program will be carried out across all institutions of higher learning and the public at large.

The HELP program is inclusive and will also extend to those students who are self-sponsored. 

In future years the program will embrace students who have ‘dropped-out’ for whatever reason and wish to return to further their education in either government or private higher education institutions.

Government is firmly committed to the principle of equal value in education, seeing it as a fundamental right, and will ensure that no child or student is left behind.

How to apply for HELP?

Those seeking access to HELP studentships will download and complete application forms from the DHERST website once they have enrolled with, and been accepted by, an HEI for the 2020 academic year. 

During the coming year, we will register all prospective students through the issue of National Identity Cards.

The rollout of the HELP studentships will commence during the opening of the first semester of the academic year 2020.

Many people are understandably hesitant to borrow money. Any loan is a serious commitment, and should not be entered into lightly.

Having said that, student loans are often necessary to make it possible for a young person to fulfil their university or college dreams.

HELP terms and provisions

The PNG Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), offers special terms and provisions that make them a more affordable and manageable commitment for young university or collegebound students.

Around the world, most student loans offer lower interest rates, but the PNG HELP is interest-free, provides for deferred payment options together with a repayment grace period following graduation.

Under the HELP, student borrowers can also take advantage of more lenient repayment plans and schedules that are exclusive to HELP, unlike the more restrictive terms and conditions of a standard loan.

HELP studentships offer greater flexibility and more manageable terms and conditions than standard non-education loans.

For many students, an education loan will be their first major financial transaction. While taking out a studentship may seem a daunting prospect, it is also the perfect opportunity to begin to build a solid credit history.

HELP is the beginning of many students' financial history. By keeping up to date on all university or college loan repayments a student can begin to lay the foundation of a good credit score, which will prove greatly beneficial in later life.

One of the many advantages of a HELP studentship is that the student does not need to repay before he or she graduates. The HELP scheme will allow students time to seek a job before repayments commence.

Generally speaking, students will begin repayments on their loan about six months after their graduation.

Benefits of HELP Loan

There are clearly many benefits of a HELP studentship.

Naturally, there will be students who are wealthier than others and who may not need to consider such an offer. However, for most students, a HELP studentship is a mean (way) of allowing them (poor students) to concentrate on their studies rather than worrying about the source of funding for their tertiary education.


Professor Fr. Jan Czuba
Secretary DHERST


Source: DHERST, HELP Studentships: What Are the Benefits? [ORIGINAL PDF DOC] released 13th January 2020

Note: The media statement was adapted for an easy read. The signed original copy can be found via the link above. 

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