2023 Selection List and Scholarship Explained DHERST

The Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) is responsible for the school Grade 12 leavers’ selections for PNG Universities – also called the DHERST 2023 Selection List.

The higher education department conducts quality checks, works in collaboration with the universities and finalises the acceptance listing of students.

The department also facilitates the PNG government’s TESAS awards for the new intakes (the Grade 12 school leavers) to each university in the country. DHERST coordinates the school leavers’ selection, electronically, in two parts.

2023 Selection list: School Leavers NOAS Vs NOSS

  • First, DHERST captures the Grade 12 students for universities and tertiary institutions through the National Online Applications Selection (NOAS).
  • Then, the higher education department does the Grade 12 School Leavers selection through the National Online Selection System (NOSS) whereby students are selected for tertiary education according to their choices on the NOAS.

Electronic selection started in 2018 and has been very effective over the years. It is fast, effective and efficient. However, there were some weaknesses in the way the system was implemented. Witnessed in 2020 when DHERST recalled the first selection lists and republished them after corrections.

What is the School Leavers Selection List?

The school leavers selection list for 2023 is the listing of Grade 12 students who have applied through the NOAS and got selected to a higher learning institution in Papua New Guinea.

The higher education department does the selection through the National Online Selection System (NOSS). This list is the preliminary list that comes out.

The acceptance list is final and confirms the status of students picked to start their first year at a university of their preferences on the NOAS.

DHERST 2023 Selection list and TESAS Awards

DHERST used different statuses to indicate the TESAS Awards for selected students. The awards are based on the PNG government’s yearly sponsorship for students under the AES and HECAS categories, excluding the self-sponsored or corporate-sponsored students.

StatusPNG govt scholarshipMeaning
TESASTertiary Education School Assistance SchemeTwo Scholarships under PNG govt sponsored TESAS
AESAcademic Excellence Scholarship SchemeScholarship for Higher achieving students
HECASHigher Education Contribution Assistant SchemeScholarship for students who meet the minimum GPA set by universities
SELFSelf-sponsoredFull-fee paying students or fees paid by other sponsors

Acceptance list for PNG Institutions

In this part, we attempt to discuss the nature of the Grade 12 selections, the Acceptance List and the challenges of releasing the acceptance list on time. And, address many of the ‘why’ questions (see the comments thread in this article) relating to the release of the selection list and acceptance list 2021.

The opinions are based on our personal experience since the inception of DHERST’s online selection systems. We hope that it gives you an understanding of the whole process. We wrote this article for our blog audience and thought it fits well with the TESAS Awards and explanations of HECAS and AES.

Grade 12 selections to the tertiary institutions

The selection of Grade 12 students takes place before the Acceptance List 2021. DHERST used the National Online Application System (NOAS) to capture students’ school leavers’ choices. And uses the Online Selection System (NOSS) to, electronically, select students according to their choice on the online school leavers’ form, the NOAS.

Before 2018, the Grade 12 students have only 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices they pre-fill on a manual school leavers form. The manual SLF is sent to Port Moresby where selectors from tertiary institutions in the country scour over the paper forms and select students – this is long gone.

2023 is the 5th Year of DHERST Online Selection

The DHERST online selection and release of the 2023 selection will be the 5th year DHERST has gone online. In the past, the higher education department use to publish the Grade 12 selections in the daily newspapers.

The online selection system and acceptance is the best technological intervention by the higher education department, DHERST.

However, there seemed to be a certain weakness in the selection process as seen last year and this year with the delay of the 2021 acceptance list. We do not know exactly what caused the delay but we can only infer that it may be due to the Public Holiday on Friday the 8th of January, 2021.

2023 DHERST Selection List Release and 2021 Delays

As for last year, the acceptance list was published before the TESAS Award list. The former higher education department secretary that the acceptance/selection lists are published online in two parts:

  • Selection List of School Leavers: formal list of all the students enrolling for the first time at tertiary institutions in the country.
  • TESAS Award List: The final list of the students’ acceptance list including their ‘indicated’ TESAS Award status.

DHERST indicated to have released the acceptance list on the second Friday of January 2021. This has not happened.

We believe DHERST is working to get the 2021 acceptance list out to the public. Meanwhile, students, parents and citizens have to wait for the higher education department to make another announcement.

Reports of Delays

The Post Courier reported delays in releasing the TESAS Award list last year. The reason was that ‘DHERST waited for all the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country to confirm their selections. As part of the process, HEI’s will confirm their quotas before the final TESAS Award List comes out.

Waiting for the HEIs in the country to send the confirmed list to DHERST can take ages. But, the Post Courier hinted that the final list could come out by late January or early February before the academic year starts.

2023 Selection List Released Date

As mentioned, the process of selection, quality checks, confirming availability of spaces with HEIs, etc is challenging. DHERST must get it right the first time so that they do not mess up the final acceptance list.

The final acceptance list for students to enrol at the universities (including the PNG Govt’s scholarship details) should/will come out a few weeks before the academic year starts.

If you are someone with a special circumstance (non-school leaver, school leaver and self-sponsored ) and needed more time to prepare; make sure you mitigate the risks of losing your university placement before the academic year starts.

PNG Insight Blog has the latest updates on the TESAS Awards Lists. Check it out!

DHERST Selection Key Points

Three years ago, DHERST wanted students to take note of the three points. The points are still relevant to this year’s selection.

  • Your personal details contained within your application has been forwarded to the Higher Education Institution which has selected you.

  • You should expect to receive an admissions offer letter directly from your Higher Education Institution (HEI). The HEI will communicate directly with you to inform you on specific details.

  • If your Study Program receives scholarship awards from the National Government, you may be eligible for financial support through TESAS. Your TESAS status is also indicated in this National Selection List. Please log in to the NOAS (apply.dherst.gov.pg) and check MyStatus section. [DHERST , Press Release 2019]

Concerns if DHERST race past February

In the meantime, there is no need to worry, even though February is approaching fast. Citizens and stakeholders must be patient. DHERST, since 2018, has done a fantastic job with the:

  • Online School Leavers Application (NOAS),
  • Online Selection System (NOSS),
  • Compiling and quality-checking the selection listings
  • Liaising with HEIs in the country,
  • Publishing the acceptance listing for ALL the HEIs

We invite you to join us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for up-to-date education info on tertiary institution selections in the country, as they happen. In addition to PNG Insight here, we also run the PNG Insight blog and PNG Mathematics Exam Resource website. PNG Insight Blog has the latest updates on the TESAS Awards Lists. Check it out!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Richard Siyei

    My son namely Silam Richard as been completed his grade 12 in 2023, He scored 3.0 GPA from his internal marks and external marks was not added.
    My question is why he was not selected to the higher institutions? Can anyone clarify please.

  2. Salanieta

    I’m eligible to enter a university but how am I going to know if my name is still in the admission pool but was not selected?


      Check you name/slf number on the selection list of your preferred institutions. You should be able to know whether you are selected, or not, that way. Good luck.

  3. Claude Tetu

    How do we know that we are in HECAS or AES?


      Hi Claude, DHERST publishes the STATUS of students. To know your AES, HECAS or self sponsored status, you’ll have to check with DHERST.


    I was selected to national poly tech to take up applied science but I did not receive the admission yet

  5. Serah

    This is taking too long. There is no excuse for such delay. Efficiency should be the key for their work ethics.


    I was selected in to Gaulim Teachers college but I did not receive my admission letter.I don’t know when will I receive my admission letter.

  7. Nathalie

    When will I receive my admission letter?

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