Successful Graduation Ceremony for the Republic of Marshall Islands Campus
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(left - right): The Director of the USP RMI Campus, Dr Irene Taafaki, the University Chancellor and Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui, President of RMI, His Excellency, Mr Christopher Loeak and the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra at the Graduation ceremony for the USP RMI Campus.
52 students graduated with 78 academic qualifications;
The University of the South Pacific had a very successful Graduation ceremony at its Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) campus on 28 June 2012.
Fifty two students received their certificates, diplomas and degrees from the University Chancellor, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui, who is also the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands.
The ceremony was attended by the Chancellor and his wife Lady Grace Delight Kabui, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra and the Secretary to the USP Council, Mrs Lily Vesikula as well as the Director of the RMI campus, Dr Irene Taafaki and staff of the campus.
His Excellency, the President of RMI, Mr Christopher Loeak, the Minister of Education, Dr Hilda Heine, cabinet ministers, senior officials and members of the judiciary and excellencies and members of the diplomatic corps also joined to make the Graduation ceremony a memorable one.
About five hundred people attended the ceremony, which was broadcast live both on radio and television.
A highlight of the Graduation ceremony was that 70 percent of the qualifications gained were at the postgraduate level. In particular, there was satisfaction with the large number of MBA and MEd graduates.
Other highlights include:
70% of the qualifications earned were at the postgraduate level;
19 students earned Masters level qualification - 12 MBAs, 5 MEd’s and 1 with MA and 1 MSc;
The majority of all graduates are Marshallese citizens (65%);
10 graduates are from other member countries, all of whom have been serving in the Marshall Islands for many years; and
5 graduates are from non-member countries including three post-graduate students from the United States.
In his address, H.E. President Loeak expressed his strong support for USP and was very pleased with the quality of USP graduates. He mentioned in particular USP’s leadership role in the provision of high quality higher education throughout the region.
“I begin by thanking the University of the South Pacific for its leadership in higher education in the region. Managing the needs of 14 campuses in 12 island states of differing cultures and resources, and offering back in return quality education, is a feat that never ceases to astonish many of us. Our most sincere gratitude and appreciation”, said President Loeak.
The President also reiterated that he and his government were firmly committed to bringing into fruition the long-held dream of a new campus in RMI.
“The time has come for concrete commitment in clear and specific terms. This administration has pledged to set aside $500,000 in the next budget as seed money to launch a concerted effort to establish the campus. We will begin to delineate a clear timetable that outlines the progressive stages of implementation," declared the President.
The President also praised the RMI Campus Director, Dr Taafaki, her staff and the staff of the RMI-USP Education Project.
“We are talking about just a small group of educators, managing always on a shoestring budget every year. Yet, they turn out highly successful, products, like we have here today,” continued the President.
Professor Chandra presented a report on the University, reminding the students about the importance of ethics, innovation, teamwork, perseverance, and commitment to their country and the region.
He also thanked the President and the government for its support for the University, and the clear steps now being taken to realize the dream of the new campus.
The Vice-Chancellor emphasized the importance of USP to the future of countries in the region as they progress in a world dominated by knowledge, technology and competition.
The graduating student representative, Mr Carlos Dominic, spoke of the quality of the programme he had gone through, and the value of USP education. He asked the government to expedite the development of the new campus, and wished his fellow students well in their future.
The Graduation ceremony was followed by a dinner in honor of the Chancellor and Lady Grace by the MBA graduates.