Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President stresses a point during the Student Forum.
Students of The University of the South Pacific (USP) had an opportunity to be updated on the latest developments of the University and also to raise their concerns during the first 2017 Student Forum hosted by Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President at the Laucala Campus on 21 April.
Professor Chandra welcomed the students saying such engagements were important for the University and its students so that their issues could be voiced and subsequently ironed out.
“This engagement is designed to ensure that the most important stakeholders of the University which are the students, are receiving the best quality in terms of teaching and other administrative support services.
Students raising their concerns during the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Forum.
“We have always enjoyed a good relationship with the student leaders and the students in general and we are committed to enhancing and maintaining that,” Professor Chandra noted.
He noted that most of the issues raised during the last forum had been followed up on, some had been resolved while others were progressing.
Some of the key issues raised by students included:
• Can new tablets being distributed by the University for first-year students, be owned by students themselves following a one-third and two-third payment arrangement between them and the University;
• Disability Resource Centre (DRC) to be opened during weekends for students with disabilities to be able to do their assignments;
• Jobs Access With Speech (JAWS) software be installed on PCs at some of the labs apart from at the DRC only. JAWS is a computer screened reader for the blind and visually impaired.
• Election of the presidency of Student Associations be done professionally and independently by the Fiji Elections office;
• Need for Student Learning Specialists to be trained to deal with students with disabilities to make their learning much more effective; and
• Anticipated continuation of the JENESYS project;
Other issues brought up by the students were to enhance the effectiveness of online learning; repairs to lab computers be done to ensure a quick turnaround time for users; lab users being inconveniently moved from one location to another every time there was a class; discrepancies in course programmes in SOLS; and that the USP South Gate be opened during the weekends.
Professor Chandra and his Senior Management Team clarified the issues raised and assured the students that these would be dealt with accordingly.
A similar forum for staff was held earlier in the day.
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