Governance & Management Enhancement & Strengthening Project

GMES Project



The University Council is undertaking a review of the total remuneration for its Senior Management and the salaries for its academic staff and is seeking an appropriately qualified and experienced consultant(s) to undertake a benchmarking and review of these remuneration and salaries and to recommend changes to the University Council.


The University of the South Pacific (USP) was established in 1968 as a regional tertiary institution and it now serves twelve member countries. [1]   It operates from a major campus in Suva - Fiji, together with campuses and facilities in other member states.
It is governed by the University Council and its academic and management activities are led by the Vice-Chancellor.  The USP has a diverse range of academic programmes and activities, together with a number of other activities that support and enhance its academic activities.  It has an annual income of approximately F$120 million.

USP has previously commissioned a number of salary reviews (both general and specific to senior management), with the most recent one relating to senior management positions being 1997.

Since that review there have been some CPI adjustments and as a result a restructuring in 2004, the then Vice-Chancellor made a number of senior appointments.

The current Vice-Chancellor has since February 2009 restructured his Senior Management Team which now has the following senior management positions:

–    Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
–    Pro Vice Chancellors – for teaching and learning; research and innovation; planning and quality (to be filled)
–    Deans of Faculties – arts and law; business and economics; science, technology and environment
–    Director of Finance
–    Registrar

Objectives of the Consultancy

(a)    USP is a regional university which seeks to maintain its reputation and standing as being equivalent to a number of universities in Australia and New Zealand.  This is essential for it to maintain the confidence of its member countries, to attract both undergraduate and graduate students, to attract funding from international donors and to attract and retain appropriate academic and support staff.

A key prerequisite for maintaining its reputation and standing is the need for USP to have a strong senior management team.

(b)    USP considers that the remuneration for its senior managers and salaries for its academic staff should be characterised as being:

  • Competitive – that is, they will be attractive to individuals who may have other opportunities in Fiji or other countries, depending on the market for particular positions;
  • Comparable – that is, they will be comparable with other similar institutions, senior public sector and private sector salaries within Fiji and other relevant countries in the region and internationally;
  • Affordable – that is, USP funding levels are able to sustain the proposed salaries and remuneration.
  • Appropriate – to attract the required attributes: professional skills, qualifications, expertise, experience and leadership that the University expects of its management team and academic staff.

The detailed approach [2] for undertaking this review will be proposed by the consultant. However, USP envisages that it would include for:

1.    Senior Management Remuneration

i.    Identification of a “basket” of universities which are sufficiently comparable to USP whose  senior management salaries / remuneration can be used as an external benchmark. [3]  Accurate and current data would need to be obtained from the “benchmark” basket of universities.

ii.    Determining the positions (public and private sector) in Fiji and other relevant member countries and their salary / remuneration that could be used as “local” benchmark data.

iii.    Considering the appropriate relativities between the USP positions included in the review and the comparator data obtained in (i), (ii) above.  These relativities would include consideration of the:

–    Comparative “job sizing” for positions
–    Market for positions
–    Comparative “costs of living”
–    Other matters such as maintaining the reputation and standing of USP and the affordability within the USP funding regime.

2.    Academic Staff Salaries

i.    Analysis and evaluation of the current international comparator index agreed by the USP Council taking into consideration the movements of the index in comparator universities over the last three years.

ii.    Determination of the appropriate percentage at which USP’s academic salaries are  set against this international comparator index taking into account current trends in comparator universities, the market for such positions and the economic situations of the Member Countries of the University.   

The Consultant is required to consult with appropriate members of Council and staff within the University community in order to address the objectives of the consultancy [4].

The main output will be a report of no more than 35 pages (with Executive Summary) that contains:

1.    Identification of a “benchmark” basket of universities, and applicable private and public institutions and positions, to be used to determine salaries and remuneration of the senior management team

2.    Proposals for alternative levels of salaries and remuneration with a view to arriving at a more appropriate and consolidated “total remuneration package” for senior manager positions

3.    A clear analysis and evaluation of the appropriateness of:

(i)   the international comparator index agreed to by the USP Council for academic and comparable staff
(ii)  the percentage at which USP’s academic salaries are set against this comparator index

and recommendations for changes to (i) and (ii) above, for consideration by the University Council

A draft report will be prepared for USP and following its consideration, a final report will be required by mid June 2009.


 The consultant should have:

(a)    relevant capability and experience to complete the review

(b)    knowledge and experience in carrying out similar salary and remuneration reviews for senior management and academic positions

(c)    sound knowledge and experience of assessing job sizing and comparators and to distinguish and set appropriate benchmarks

(d)    knowledge of the Pacific Region and the role of higher education in the region would be an advantage


The expected timeframe for this consultancy is a maximum of 35 days

A draft report is required by 22 May 2009. Comments will be provided within 10 days and the final report submitted by 12 June 2009.

Lines of Accountability

The consultancy will be supervised by the USP Council Task Force and Vice-Chancellor through the Project Manager.


Consultants wishing to tender for this contract should send a detailed Curriculum Vitae, with a covering letter detailing expertise and previous experience of similar reviews, scope of the work to be undertaken, details of other consultants to be used, key activities, tasks, stages and timelines for the review, proposed methodology, costing and confirmation of availability to The Registrar, University of the South Pacific, Private Mailbag, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji Islands.

Tenders may be submitted by email to: governanceproject(at) by the closing date with a copy being mailed to the above address.

Tenders close 4.00pm on Thursday 30 April 2009

[1]    Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

[2]    Significant documentation is available and will be provided by the University.
[3]    Previous USP reviews have used an index of universities from Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand.

[4]    This is a desk review and consultations with Member Countries should be by telephone, video conference or email.


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Governance & Management Enhancement & Strengthening Project,
The University of the South Pacific,

Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji
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