The increase was approved last week by the university council, which stated that the "decision was reached in light of decreases in the annual budget provided by the government, and the increase in the annual costs of essential utilities to maintain the continued operation of the university's teaching and learning activities".
According to a Radio NZ report, UPNG media director James Robins said along with rising costs the university was also trying to cope with higher government charges and pressure to absorb more students.
According to Robins, the government had not been meeting its obligations to the UPNG and the university had been stepping in, but could no longer afford to do so.
"The government owes us a substantial amount of money through the HECA and TESAS scholarships - I think it is something about K3.6 million and we have to carry that," he said.
"And with other monies that we are owed by the government and various … National Executive Council decisions, it's quite a large amount of money that we are carrying."
Fees for 2018 have nearly doubled compared with this year.