The President of RMI, His Excellency Christopher Loeak, and the University Chancellor and Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui inaugurate the ceremonial breaking of the ground for the new campus in RMI. Also in picture: the RMI Minister of Education, Dr Hilda Heine and the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra.
Plans by the University of the South Pacific to build a new campus in the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) received a major boost after the ground-breaking ceremony for its new campus was held on 29 June, 2012.
The President of RMI, His Excellency Christopher Loeak, and the University Chancellor, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui who is also the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands inaugurated the ceremonial breaking of the ground for the new campus.
The land lease for the new campus had been finalised previously but progress was not possible because of reliance on development assistance and changing development priorities.
Following the announcement made by the President at the RMI campus Graduation ceremony, at which he pledged an initial grant of US$500,000 in the new budget, the ground-breaking ceremony was an indication of the time-lined implementation of this decision.
The RMI Minister of Education, the Chair of the RMI Campus Advisory Committee and a member of Council, Dr Hilda Heine said that the ceremony was a testimony of the Government’s support for and commitment to USP.
She added that the development of human resources was a central tenet of the new Government’s policy, and the initiative would considerably add to the human resource development of the RMI.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra said that the occasion was the realisation of a dream that the previous RMI Presidents had initiated and worked on, and on which the University was doing considerable work.
He indicated that USP provides high quality human resources for the RMI, and that the new campus will ensure an even better quality student experience.
The Vice-Chancellor spoke about the importance of Pacific islanders believing more in themselves, and stressed that high quality education was the very foundation of this confidence and success.
As an example, Professor Chandra pointed out how Singapore, a very small country, has forged ahead in its development, well ahead of the larger countries with many more resources.
“It did this because it had a grand vision, determination, and perseverance. There is no reason why small Pacific Island Countries like RMI cannot achieve great success in the future - provided high quality higher education is given priority,” he explained.
Professor Chandra assured the President and the RMI Government that the University would work very closely with the Government to have an effective implementation plan for the campus.