10 May 2018
Dr Janet Rangou understands that school leavers, adults and life-long learners face challenges to accessing further study in Papua New Guinea.
As Acting Associate Director of Programs and Productions at the University of Papua New Guinea’s (UPNG) Open College, her passion is to help Papua New Guineans gain access to higher education through distance learning.
“I am focused on building up the quality of our education systems as much as possible through our certificate, diploma and degree programs and providing efficient support for all learners in Papua New Guinea,” says Dr Rangou.
She is a graduate of two scholarship awards under the Australia Awards program and a recipient of the Australia Leadership Award in 2012. She completed her PhD in Education at the University of Sydney in 2016.
“I have always had an interest in providing accessible and affordable learning opportunities for the marginalised. Being exposed to the global village whilst staying focused, grounded and connected to national, local and indigenous realities is an immeasurable opportunity,” says Dr Rangou.
While studying in Australia, Dr Rangou was a student ambassador at the University of Sydney. She was responsible for welcoming new Australia Awards Scholarships awardees, especially those from Papua New Guinea and other Pacific nations. She was also a Sydney University Alumni volunteer as well as a St Vincent De Paul Society volunteer.
“I enjoyed the opportunity of being connected to the ‘United Nations’ cohort of Australian awardees from the different countries of the world,” she says, adding that it changed her perspective on life and fed her appetite for helping needy and marginalised people where possible.
Dr Rangou fostered a five-year Memorandum of Understanding for academic professional partnership with an Australian university to help her institution build its capacity in flexible open learning.
This initiative resulted from her participation in the International Council of Distance Education 2016 Leadership Summit in Sydney, hosted by Charles Sturt University and the International Council of Distance Learning.
She initiated a learning attachment trip for the University of Papua New Guinea and Charles Sturt University to learn, network and explore flexible open distance learning options.
“I am passionate about building this connection and I am learning good practices from higher education institutions in Australia. I am very grateful for this life changing experience and the opportunity given by the Australian Government,” Dr Rangou says.
Dr Rangou is currently the Vice President of the Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association.