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Graduates share stories of challenge and success at USP

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Harry Anigafutu Junior Waitara with his award during the Laucala Campus graduation.

Graduation is always a joyous, memorable and exciting moment for graduates, but for a graduate from Solomon Islands, The University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Graduation was an emotional one.

Harry Anigafutu Junior Waitara, who graduated with Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Geography on 31 March, 2017 along with 1,680 graduands, dedicated the award to his uncle, who he describes, was his driving force to pursue a degree from USP.

During his first year of university studies, Harry lost his uncle, who was his namesake, and since then has gone through a number of challenges during his studies away from home.

“As much as it is an overwhelming event, it is also an emotional day for me as someone who dreamt about today is no longer here to witness my big day,” Harry said.

He added that he came in and out of depression during his studies, but with the support and encouragement of his family, friends and church members, he was able to complete his degree at USP.

“When I left high school, I did not know that I would study at USP, but he did the application and got me enrolled at USP, and now because of him, I have graduated,” Harry added.

Bachelor of Software Engineering graduate, Wafaa Wardah felt accomplished after going through a tough journey through University life. 

“It was an extremely challenging journey, because there was a huge difference between me and my peers, who came from secondary school while I had to do other things, like looking after my child, taking care of my family,” Wafaa explained. 

She dedicated her success to the support that she received from her family which allowed her to complete her degree on time. 

Wafaa Wardah with her family after the graduation at Vodafone Arena, Laucala, Suva.

Her message to current and prospective students is to manage their time properly and prioritise their academic work. Wafaa hopes to return to USP and further her studies.

For Master of Business Administration graduate (MBA), Sela Fakapelea, age is no barrier in pursuing tertiary education.

Sela, who is in her 50’s and a grandmother said that graduation was an extraordinary moment in her life, adding that it was a culmination of hard work, family support and commitment to studies.

Sela undertook her MBA programme from Tonga Campus and said that studying away from the main Campus where resources are readily available was a challenge in itself.

“Studying from home is quite intensive, because you have to balance your work for the family, spiritual obligation to your family, work and study, so it is quite challenging,” Sela remarked.

Sela highlighted that planning is an important factor when you are a mature student.

With good planning, Sela says that mature students can successfully further their studies.

This news item was published on 31 Mar 2017 07:04:24 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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