Welcome Message to Students – 2016
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President
I am delighted to welcome all students to The University of the South Pacific (USP) for the new academic year 2016. I extend my special welcome to new students and am delighted that you have chosen the region’s best university for your further education to prepare you for your career success.
At USP, we are committed to your success, and every effort will be made to ensure that your experience is an enriching and rewarding one.
We are fully aware that access to high quality education is absolutely crucial for the future progress and stability of the region, especially in a knowledge-driven, open and competitive world. Over the years, USP has built a solid reputation as an institution renowned for the quality and relevance of its programmes. We believe in providing the very best in terms of education and support to ensure our students achieve academic excellence and all-rounded success for lifelong success.
While you have all followed different paths to arrive here at USP, you share a proven record of academic success and the determination to better yourself through further and higher education. We have produced around 45,000 alumni, many of whom are well placed in leadership positions in the region and beyond. This is a strong indication of our commitment to molding the leaders of tomorrow. I am confident that you too will be an excellent addition to the USP family, just like the students before you.
You have chosen to study at a very ambitious and rapidly growing university. This academic year is a pivotal year as we begin our new triennium and draw closer to our 50th anniversary in 2018. The University wants to celebrate its 50 years of existence with a sense of pride by achieving its goal of transforming itself from good to an excellent university as set out in its Strategic Plan 2013-2018.
The University cannot fully achieve its ambition for excellence without your contribution. In fact, our students are at the heart of our success. As students, you will feel this drive and push at USP in order to improve as an institution. I am very pleased with the commitment of our students, and am hopeful that you all will add to the excellent work students have done in the past.
USP promises to support you in your studies and to facilitate your success. We will continue with our efforts to improve in the areas of Learning and Teaching and Student Support which are two of the seven priority areas in our current Strategic Plan.
Our academic programmes ensure that when you graduate you would have acquired attributes such as academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and integrity, capacity for leadership and working with others, appreciation of Pacific cultures and cross-cultural competencies. These will ensure high levels of employability and lifelong success.
Our teaching style offers intellectually stimulating, interesting and exciting opportunities to learn both individually and collectively. No doubt, you can expect to be fully supported by our dedicated and hardworking staff. Our professors and lecturers are experienced and well qualified experts in their areas to impart you with knowledge and skills that you need to be a well-educated student.
We also combine latest research in relevant areas to offer students the opportunity to bring the world of study, work and the community together. So it is not only about achieving academic success but also developing you as good ambassadors of the University, who will go on to serve your communities and countries.
Our quality of learning and teaching is central to the University’s commitment to ensuring that academic programmes and learning environments meet or exceed international standards. I can assure you that the quality of our programmes is, without a doubt, one of the best in the region.
So far, our list of internationally accredited programmes include Master of Business Administration (AMBA and Eduniversal has ranked MBA 6th in Oceania region); Accounting (CPA); Tourism and Hospitality Management (THE-ICE); Law (Recognised by Australia); Net Centric Computing and Software Engineering.
We will continue to benchmark our programmes to ensure that it is of the highest quality and comparable to those offered by other universities in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the world. We have been granted eligibility status by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). This means that the University is eligible to apply for Candidacy and Initial Accreditation.
We remain dedicated to improving support services for our students to meet health, safety and community concerns and offer a better experience to students, notably one that respects and promotes the Pacific consciousness and cohesiveness.
The University has a vibrant campus life. Throughout the year, there are many events and activities that complement daily work in classrooms and laboratories and provide a welcome diversion. The services provided by our Campus Life Office contribute to student success primarily by providing a welcoming, safe, secure and supportive living and learning environment. Specifically these services are in the areas of careers and entrepreneurship, Disability Resource Centre, health and wellness, counselling and campus activities like sports and cultural events or volunteer schemes. We encourage students to actively engage in university events as much as possible, for learning, networking purposes and personal development. At USP, you will get to enjoy our excellent gym and sporting facilities, eat on campus from local restaurants, visit the book centre or bank, and even use the state-of-the-art ICT facilities for your learning needs.
At times, University life can be challenging. Effective time management and personal discipline will be a major key to your success here. It is vital to set some clear goals for the year and beyond. If you have planned your aims and targets, than you can discuss this with academic and administrative staff members, who will offer advice and support to help you meet your targets. I urge you to move ahead with determination and confidence to achieve your goals.
As we look to the future one thing is certain – knowledge will be a key resource. As the premier University in the region, our challenge is to continue to educate and train people to work in fields where they will be valued, both for their specialised knowledge, and for their ability to research, communicate and solve problems.
I trust that all of you, like me, are ready for the fresh challenges and opportunities this new academic year will bring. I give an assurance that our staff and our overall systems will support you in achieving your goals. We will continue to work with you and your leaders to give you strong voice at the University. You are entitled to excellent services; we promise to provide these. Where there are shortcomings, we welcome your constructive feedback.
I wish you all a very positive and productive academic year ahead. Let us aim to finish the year as we are starting it with energy, vision, and a real sense of purpose and achievement. Welcome and enjoy USP and live your dreams.