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USP’s Geospatial programme gets SIBA excellence award

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The 2016 intake for USP’s Bachelor of Geospatial Science programme.

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Bachelor of Geospatial Science programme has been awarded the 2016 Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA) 2016 Pacific Spatial Excellence Award in the People and Community category. 

SIBA is a prominent body in Australia that promotes the geospatial industry.

A delighted Dr Nicholas Rollings, Associate Professor at the Division of Geography said USP will now be invited to participate in the regional awards in March 2017 and may walk away as the regional winner.

“We recruited close to fifty (50) new students this year. I am very pleased with this as we have not yet promoted the programme fully as we do not have the facilities yet to handle the numbers,” he stated.

“Our two new 200-level courses were offered for the first time, GS200 Spatial Statistics using R and GS231 Cartography,” Dr Rollings said.

He added that there were many comments from the recent Pacific Islands Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS RS) Conference attendees as to the “robustness of our new degree and the inclusion of Python and R programming.”

“We continue to offer short courses to the Department of Town and Country Planning this year and also offered Open Map Source workshop for our students during the conference,” he further noted.

According to Dr Rollings, there is a growing demand for training from the Government Ministries and once the new labs are built they would be in a great position to expand.

The Geospatial Science programme was introduced in 2015.

Dr Rollings said ministries are lining up to engage with their students with a mind for cadetships or attachments and the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) will soon host a recruiting exercise for the students. 

“This kind of positive feedback is a great morale booster in these challenging times. The compliments from our academic counterparts from overseas reassure us of the fact that we are on the right track,” he added.

This news item was published on 9 Dec 2016 12:20:43 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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