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USP launches new Partnership Agreement with New Zealand

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Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra with the New Zealand High Commissioner, His Excellency Mark Ramsden during the Partnership Agreement launch.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) launched a new Partnership Agreement with the New Zealand Government on 13 April 2016.

This new Partnership Agreement with New Zealand will assist USP in building the skills and capability of Pacific people in line with identified national and regional priorities to advance sustainable development in the region.

USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra said that the celebration is not only to launch this Partnership Agreement, but also to acknowledge the strong relationship that the University has with one of its major development partners.

“The new agreement will provide a total of NZD 15 million for the current triennium, 2016 – 2018. In addition to this, NZ has also committed support for a major ICT project,” Professor Chandra said.

Professor Chandra added that the University is appreciative of the strong development support it has received from New Zealand Government trailing back to USP’s establishment in 1968.

“This strong support over almost five decades is noteworthy and shows just how strong the partnership is between the Government and people of NZ and the University.”

He added that the University is committed towards effectively and efficiently delivering its obligations under the new Partnership Agreement through the implementation of the USP Strategic Plan (2013-2018).

Present to officially launch the partnership, was the New Zealand High Commissioner, His Excellency Mark Ramsden.

H.E. Mr Ramsden said that New Zealand has supported the University through good and bad times and has watched with pride as the University reached out across the Pacific producing graduates who are contributing at every level in the public, private and government sectors in every Pacific Island Country (PIC).

He added that USP remains one of the best examples of effective regional cooperation and as such it will have a key role in implementing the recently-agreed Framework for Pacific Regionalism.

H.E. Mr Ramsden noted USP’s strategic aim to make a step change from a “good” to an “excellent” University over the next few years and as part of that, to be considered an extension of the New Zealand and Australian University systems.   

“Building linkages and partnerships with New Zealand universities will be an important part of that process; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) can certainly facilitate and support this, where possible,” H.E. Mr Ramsden added.

The High Commissioner further highlighted that New Zealand is working with USP on the design of an upgrade to the USPNet Infrastructure Upgrade Programme, which connects the main USP campus in Laucala with remote campuses around the Pacific.

Other guests at the event included USP Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mr Winston Thompson, Government ministers and senior officials, representatives of the University’s key Development Partners, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Regional and International Organisations, University Council members, USP’s Senior Management Team and other University staff.

Read VC's Address at the Launch

USP and New Zealand Partnership Launch Picture Gallery

This news item was published on 15 Apr 2016 05:15:08 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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