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USP acknowledges stakeholders for another successful year

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Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP acknowledged stakeholders for another successful year for USP during the corporate cocktail at Laucala campus.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) hosted a Corporate Cocktail for its stakeholders and development partners at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) at the Laucala Campus on 8 December 2016.

The event was attended by members of Diplomatic Corps; Heads of Regional and International Organisations; Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council; Chair of Finance and Investments Committee and members; Chair of Audit and Risk Committee and members; members of University Senate; Senior Management Team and staff of the University; senior Government officials; members of corporate and statutory organisations; sponsors; members of media organisations and members of Staff Union and Student Association.

In welcoming them Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP said the University’s success is the result of their strong engagement and support.

“I also thank my staff because the University cannot be successful without their enthusiasm and hard work,” he said.

He said although USP, like the rest of Fiji started the year on a negative note due to Tropical Cyclone Winston, he was glad that USP did not take a major blow and that it donated $100,000 to rehabilitation efforts.

“We expressed our solidarity with the people of Fiji in what was a very dark hour in our country’s history,” he remarked.

However despite this, 2016 has been another successful year for USP and to date close to 30,000 students enrolled with the University in what has been a record enrolment.

This he said means that people value the programmes and qualifications the University delivers because not all institutions manage to maintain their enrolment or increase them.

“We have been able to persuade everyone that if they send their students to USP, they get the best education, the best chance to be employed and the best chance to succeed and do great things in their lives.

“We know we can do better if we concentrate on delivering quality and we have a major focus on quality around international accreditations,” he stated.

So far, a total of eighteen (18) programmes have been internationally accredited and four (4) programmes recognised.

Professor Chandra further commended the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE), which recently received Registered Training Organisation status by Australia.

“We have made great strides with Pacific TAFE, which became the only non-Australian provider to be given Registered Training Organisation (RTO) status in Australia and also received a number of accreditations,” Professor Chandra said.

In the area of research, USP has continuously improved the number of highest category ranked publications (A and A*).

Furthermore, USP secured two patents this year, both out of the School of Engineering and Physics.

“Patents represent the height of research achievement, the application of research beyond research and its conversion into products and services. What this shows is that we have world-class researchers here and this is an international indication as to where we stand,” Professor Chandra noted.

Professor Chandra added that upon his recent return from the 10th Commonwealth Conference on Open, Flexible and Online Learning and listening to presentations by USP staff, he realised that USP is way ahead of the average university in the world, in this area.

“There are many things we have done that no one else has done, in terms of binding together 33 million square kilometres of the region, getting 12 countries to work together and for 48 years not one country has defaulted in its contribution to USP. We are clearly the best example of regional cooperation,” he said.

Shifting his focus to the world-renowned Pasifika Voices, Professor Chandra said according to remarks from the producers, “it is the contribution from Pasifika Voices that made Moana the success it is.”

“USP is not just about engineering, science or business. We are about ensuring that we preserve our culture; and that we have a strong identity and showcase the creativity of our people.

“With Moana, we have seen that our talent can match anywhere in the world. It gives us a great deal of pride and confidence that we have what it takes to compete with the best in the world,” he stressed.

Another major achievement highlighted by Professor Chandra was the signing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan agreement of US$15.4million for the new Solomon Islands Campus, which was done in the presence of USP’s Council members.

“The University’s ultimate success depends on engagement and you are all a part of it. The support for USP at the highest level of Government has never been stronger,” he said.

For USP’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Professor Chandra said USP looks forward to showcasing that, “it is the best organisation that is run by Pacific Islanders for Pacific Islanders; and that the University has made the largest contribution to the progress seen by the Pacific Islands.”

“We want to vindicate the confidence that far-thinking leaders had when they decided to establish a regional university in 1968, long before people began to talk about regional cooperation or even before the Pacific Plan was coined.”

“We hope that in 2018, we will all join hands and our leaders feel proud that this is an institution that has served them well, stood its ground and stood tall amongst the universities in the world,” Professor Chandra added.

He acknowledged all stakeholders for making 2016 a very productive year and added that they looked forward to a challenging 2017.

This news item was published on 9 Dec 2016 12:44:16 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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