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AAPS students welcomed

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Mr Gordon Burns, Counsellor, Regional Health, Education and Gender at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia gives the award to Mona Taumoefolau from Tonga.

A total of two hundred and thirty-four (234) Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships (AAPS) students are enrolled at The University of the South Pacific (USP) this semester.

This was confirmed by the Development Manager, Mr Iresh Lal during the AAPS students welcome meeting at USP’s Laucala Campus on 9 March 2017. Out of the total, twenty-two (22) students are based at USP’s Emalus Campus, while the rest are at the Laucala Campus.

Mr Lal wished the students well for their studies and told them that, “you being selected as a recipient of AAPS scholarship is an inspiring story itself.”

Mr Lal thanked the government of Australia for supporting the AAPS awards.

“This support from Australia is a reflection of their commitment towards Pacific region, in terms of enhancing the levels of literacy and assisting in higher education for not only Fiji, but for the whole of the Pacific region,” Mr Lal said.

Mr Gordon Burns, Counsellor, Regional Health, Education and Gender at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia congratulated the students for securing the scholarship.

He added that it is a privilege to work on DFAT’s education and scholarship programme to be supporting institutions like USP and added that, to be at the University’s Laucala Campus is always a pleasure. 

Mr Burns told the students that the learning that students will do together at USP will last through their careers and hoped that it will help them make a significant difference to their countries and the region.

Part of the students during the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships (AAPS) students meeting at USP’s Laucala Campus.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to contribute to your own personal learning and development through supporting these scholarships and also to contribute by bringing you together to university study like this that networks and builds long-lasting relationships,” Mr Burns said.

He highlighted that one of the consistent lessons about the scholarship programmes is not just what the students learn in the classroom, but how they can form strong networks and these, he said, are some of the things that will help the students make a real difference in future.

Mr Burns was pleased to note the cultural strength USP got through the Pasifika Voices who performed on the Moana soundtrack and received worldwide recognition and added that, “it is such a wonderful experience to be part of a thriving university community.”

As part of the meeting, ten (10) students were awarded as high achievers of the AAPS awards under their respective programmes. These students are:

  • Jimmy Telstar  (Vanuatu) - Bachelor of Arts
  • Luisa Ah Yen  (Samoa) – Bachelor of Arts
  • Patrina Leong (Solomon Islands) – Bachelor of Commerce
  • Mona Taumoefolau (Tonga) – Bachelor of Commerce
  • Grace Taufalele (Tonga) – Bachelor of Education
  • Kalolaine Tatafu (Tonga) – Bachelor of Education
  • Ferron Tupai (Samoa) – Bachelor of Engineering
  • Peter Seli (Samoa) – Bachelor of NetCentric Computing
  • Louis Faumuina (Samoa) – Bachelor of Science
  • Tilia Tima (Tuvalu) – Bachelor of Science

Since 1990, Australia has awarded around 3,000 students across fifteen (15) countries in the Pacific. In Fiji this year, approximately four hundred and fifty (450) students studying at tertiary institutions are under AAPS awards. The award also has an active alumni programme.

This news item was published on 14 Mar 2017 03:30:44 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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