USP Council members during the 84th Meeting of the USP Council in Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands.
The 84th Council meeting of The University of the South Pacific (USP) successfully concluded at USP’s Marshall Islands Campus, in Majuro, from 24 - 25 May 2017.
USP Council is the highest decision-making body of the University, and meets twice a year to discuss the affairs of the University and comprises the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, the Vice-Chancellor and President, representatives of the 12 member country governments, staff and students. One representative each from Australia and New Zealand are also part of the Council.
The two-day meeting was chaired by the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mr Winston Thompson. The opening of the new USP Marshall Islands Campus, formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Republic of Marshall Islands Government and USP on the Joint Education Programme and the University’s RMI Campus Graduation was also held as part of the Council meeting.
USP Chancellor and Prime Minister of Cook Islands, Honourable Henry Puna conferred the certificates and degrees during the USP RMI graduation ceremony.
The Council meeting was officially opened by Her Excellency Dr Hilda C. Heine, President of Republic of Marshall Islands on 24 May 2017.
H.E Dr Heine said that USP has responded significantly in translating the aspirations and hopes of the Republic of Marshall Islands Government into productive ends.
“USP has been a significant contributor to the continuing realisation of the investment made by RMI to education, which remains a singular most important priority of my Government,” H.E Dr Heine said.
She commended the University for responding to her request for the need for more vocational education in RMI.
Hon. Puna reminded the Education Ministers of the USP member countries of the two major challenges faced by the people of the Pacific region.
“Firstly the challenge of ensuring that our people, especially the young generation are well grounded and educated in modern technologies so that the people in the Pacific can keep pace with the developments of the world around us.
“The second challenge that we face is the challenge of never losing our identity and culture, because these define the people of the Pacific,” Hon. Puna said
He called on all Education Ministers to make education a priority because good and quality education is the only way in which the Pacific region can face these challenges and succeed.
On day two of the meeting, the Council formally opened the signing of the USP Convention. Eight member country Governments of USP signed the USP Convention during the Council meeting. The Convention is open for signature for the next 24 months for the remaining member countries.
The Council received reports on the activities carried out by the Pro-Chancellor & Chair of Council, Mr Winston Thompson since the report to the last Council meeting and on key developments, achievements and challenges by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra.
The Council resolved to adopt the audited financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2016 and received and adopted the 2016 Annual Report for the University. The Council positively noted the first quarter update for 2017 and progress made towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan (2013- 2018) and stressed that more efforts should be made by the Priority Area leaders in the next 18 months to ensure that the KPIs are achieved by 2018.
The Council also noted the progress of the review of the CROP Charter. The Council further noted the USP 50th Anniversary Logo and Theme.
The following programmes were instituted by the Council:
Diploma of Library and Information Services (Level 5)
Diploma Pacific Vernacular Language (Cook Islands Māori);
Post-Graduate Diploma in Cybersecurity;
Certificate III in Resilience (Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction);
Certificate IV in Resilience (Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction)
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5);
The Council instituted the Certificate in Foundation Arts; Certificate in Foundation Business; Certificate in Foundation Science; Certificate in Preliminary Arts; Certificate in Preliminary Business; and Certificate in Preliminary Science.
The Council considered the USPSA Federal Body report and noted the following issues highlighted:
The Council also approved the conversion of the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) into a trading activity under Faculty of Business and Economics.
The Council considered and endorsed the process for the development of the new Strategic Plan (2019 -2024), noting that the final plan and process will be presented at the 85th Council meeting.
The Council also approved the following:
Broad features for the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the details of which will be brought to each Council meeting in 2017 for approval/endorsement;
Amendments to the Ordinance on the Election of Staff to the Council;
Appointment of members to serve on the Honorary Degrees Committee for a term of two (2) years from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019, they are the Permanent Secretary for Education, Fiji and Minister for Education, Vanuatu; and
The Council considered and resolved to extend the following appointments for a further term of two (2) years:
1. Mr Iowane Naiveli – Chair of Audit and Risk Committee (ARC)
2. Mr Rusco Bavon – Independent member of ARC
3. Ms Susan Kumar – Independent member of ARC
4. Mr Digby Bossley – Appointed by Council
The Council also approved the release of 12 meters x 90 meters of USP land at the Laucala Campus, west from the boundary along Marine Campus Foreshore, to the Fiji Sports Council for the Construction of an Oceania Regional Training Centre for Yachting (ORTCY).
The next USP Council meeting will be held on 2 – 3 November 2017 in Fiji.
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