Members of the University Grants Committee.
The University Grants Committee (UGC) of the University of the South Pacific had its triennial meeting for 2013-2015 at the Laucala Campus in Suva from 16 - 20 July 2012.
The UGC met to discuss the University’s Triennial Submission 2013-2015 and had the opportunity to consult a number of stakeholders including Fiji’s Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji’s Honourable Minister of Education, Filipe Bole, the Vice-Chancellor and the senior management team, student representatives, staff unions, development partners, and campus directors.
During the discussions, the UGC congratulated USP for its achievements to date and was pleased that the University is on track to achieve the objectives of the current Strategic Plan by the end of this year.
The UGC also commended the University for the bold aspirations for the new triennium recognizing the University’s desire of moving to an institution of excellence. It agreed that tertiary participation is pivotal to member governments’ social and economic development.
The UGC was also mindful that being “bold” means more resources and elevated risks therefore the UGC encouraged the University to strike a balance between relevance, quality and financial viability to ensure the long-term sustainability of USP.
The UGC also noted that the University is the most successful regional institution in terms of its longstanding positive impact on all member countries and acknowledged the very important role that USP plays in fostering regional solidarity.
In terms of USP’s recurrent funding for the new triennium, the UGC commended the University for being mindful of the financial constraints faced by member governments. The UGC accepted the University’s proposal to keep member government contributions at the 2012 level of F$47,946,462 for each of the three years of the triennium 2013-2015. The UGC noted that although the contributions of member governments remain constant, this represents a significant and continuing decline in real terms.
The UGC made a number of commendations on the University’s work. Its final report will be submitted to Fiji’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and the Chair of the USP Regional Ministers of Finance. The report will also be considered by the USP Regional Ministers of Finance.
The UGC Triennial Meeting was well attended by the Chair, H.E. Winston Thompson (Fiji), the two external members representing the Australian and New Zealand Governments, (a Vice-Chancellor and a Pro Vice-Chancellor), Permanent Secretaries of Finance (or representatives) from Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu plus observers from the Government of Japan.