The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) was established by ordinance of the Australian administration in 1965. This followed the Currie Commission which had enquired into higher education in Papua New Guinea. The University of Papua New Guinea Act No. 18, 1983 bill repealing the old Ordinance was passed by the National Parliament in August 1983.
The university has moved from a departmental to a school structure to foster interdisciplinary and inter-school relationships. The university since its establishment has not changed much in terms of the physical structures, mainly due to the government's lack of funding. Despite thisu it is still operating.
There are more than 15,000 students annually in Port Moresby campuses, five open campuses and 13 study centres. In July 2008, it was announced that a new open campus would be opened in Honiara. It will be the first UPNG campus in the Solomon Islands.