USP’s Director Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni Mr Jaindra Karan and Senior Programme Officer, Regional Education & Scholarships, Australian Aid Ms Elizabeth Jitoko (middle) with two of the high academic achievers Terenga Maimoanga (far left) of Kiribati and Susan Mani (far right) of Vanuatu.
Thirty-three students of the 236 sponsored by the Australian Government’s Australia Award Pacific Scholarships (AAPS) will be completing their studies this semester at The University of the South Pacific (USP).
Four of these were high achievers namely Marie Tugu Jonah of Vanuatu in Bachelor of Special and Inclusive Education programme; Terenga Maimoanga of Kiribati in Bachelor of Commerce programme (Accounting, Management and Public Administration); Susan Mani of Vanuatu in Bachelor of Commerce – Management, Public Administration, HRM & Employment Relation; and Touakin Tarawa of Kiribati in Bachelor of Arts Graduate Certificate of Education programme (Literature & Language, & Geography).
The students were hosted to an end-of-semester awards lunch at USP’s Pacific Fusion Restaurant on 2 June, 2016, ahead of their final examinations which begin next week.
USP’s Director Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni Mr Jaindra Karan congratulated the students saying they had done the University, the Australian Government and their families proud for their achievements.
“You will now return to your countries and contribute to its development in whatever area you will work in. Do not forget to acknowledge your sponsors, and your families for being there for you all the time,” Mr Karan said.
He further urged the students to continue their education to attain higher qualifications.
“The University offers you opportunities to take higher education from wherever you are,” Mr Karan said.
“We have a new campus in Kiribati; we will have a bigger and better campus in the Solomon Islands by 2018. So there is a lot of opportunity for you to continue to study,” he noted.
Mr Karan encouraged the students to work towards regionalism in order to develop their small island states.
“The region can be stronger if we work together. We have different levels of developments in our small island states but if we pull our resources together we should be able to achieve milestones,” Mr Karan said.
He also acknowledged that for the first time under the AAPS, there was a student completing his PhD and that Mr Karan said was very encouraging.
Senior Programme Officer, Regional Education & Scholarships, Australian Aid, Ms Elizabeth Jitoko, congratulated the students for their achievement, saying the Australian Government was very proud of them.
“You are a chosen few from the total of more than a thousand applications in any given year in which you had applied for the scholarship initially. You did not disappoint us at all,” she stated.
Ms Jitoko said Australia’s partnership with USP goes back to when it was first established and “in my view the scholarship programme is one of the partnership programmes that has the biggest impact and far-reaching effects in the region as a whole”.
“Each of you has a part to play in strengthening this relationship. Many of you already hold or will hold high leadership positions in your own countries and as far as Australia is concerned, USP’s role in (shaping) effective and efficient leadership is very important,” she told the students.
Ms Jitoko emphasised the importance of leadership skills saying that one of the greatest ingredients of a good leader is to have good values and virtues.
“It is my hope that you will not only see today as a personal achievement but that in the true Pacific way, you will also acknowledge all those who have contributed to your journey - your family and friends, the University and the Australian Government.”
The 33 students were enrolled in Diplomas, Degrees, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD in the area of Arts, Commerce, Education, Science and Law. Students under the AAPS are from Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru.
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