Over the past 30 years, thousands of Cook Islanders have enrolled in USP courses and many have gained qualifications at certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate degree levels. Of a total resident Cook Islands population of just over 7000 adults, over 400 hold undergraduate or postgraduate degrees from the University, while another 75 have achieved post graduate qualifications from other institutions with the assistance of USP Cook Islands.
The USP Cook Islands centre was officially established in 1975 under the directorship of Mr. Neville Pearson and housed at the Public Health building in Tupapa, Rarotonga. At this time the Centre was linked to the main USP campus at Laucala using the Peacesat satellite service.
The current campus buildings were opened at Takamoa in 1979 and extended in 2012.
At the end of 1981, Mr. John Herrmann assumed the position of Director, holding the post for the following 21 years. The present Director, Mr. Rod Dixon assumed duties in August 2002.
What is USP Cook Islands (USPCI) currently doing for development in Cook Islands?
ICT Development – USPCI has a cohort of 7 Masters in Information Systems students who will complete their Masters degrees in 2014. One member of the cohort has recently been awarded the Asia Pacific Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Award for 2014.
Economic Policy – in 2014, 6 students will complete the Post Graduate Diploma in Economics, as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Finance.
Project Management – USPCI is currently completing a 4th cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Project Management in conjunction with AUT University, which should bring the total of qualified Cook Islands project managers to 70.
Business Administration – USPCI is currently completing the third cohort of MBA students taking the total number of USP Cook Islands MBAs to 80
Masters in Science in Sustainable Development for Small Islands States - USPCI is exploring the possibility of recruiting a cohort of 15 graduates to take the Masters in Science in Sustainable Development for Small Islands States program to develop local research capacity and critical thinking in development planning.