His Excellency Mr Masahira Omura, Japanese Ambassador to Fiji with Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President during a courtesy visit to USP.
His Excellency Mr Masahira Omura, Japanese Ambassador to Fiji visited The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala Campus on 13 September, 2017 during a courtesy visit to Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President.
In warmly welcoming the Ambassador, Professor Chandra acknowledged the long-standing relationship between USP and Japan and how greatly it has benefitted the people of the Pacific.
Professor Chandra explained that a major part of the relationship is anchored around ICT and the USPNet.
“We have been very fortunate over the years that the special relationship has led to many benefits for the people of the countries that USP represents,” Professor Chandra said.
Japan’s support for USP included the funding of the entire School of Marine Studies in the Lower Campus and more recently, the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre.
“The Japan-Pacific ICT Centre is the most sophisticated ICT Centre and the lifeline for USP as we reach out to our 12 countries and educate almost 30,000 students now. Of this number, 56 per cent are studying at a distance and of course the USPNet operating through the ICT Centre is what brings everyone together,” he stated.
H.E Omura was provided a brief overview of what the University is trying to pursue in the Pacific, in relation to advancing tertiary education in the Pacific.
Professor Chandra also talked about the importance of the USPNet and requested the Ambassadors assistance in trying to fast-track the assistance that USP had sought from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
H.E Omura indicated that Japan is trying to promote Human Resource development in the Pacific and USP is one such example of this.
He also acknowledged the JENESYS projects and informed the USP delegation on how collaborative and informative they were in raising Japanese awareness.
“I also want to acknowledge the USPNet project and this is such a fine example of USP and Japan collaboration,” H.E Omura stated.
In relation to the USPNet project, the Ambassador confirmed that JICA officials in Tokyo were preparing the project with a view to replace the antenna including the communications band to the antenna.
H.E. Mr Omura also suggested the possibility of introducing Japanese language and studies, where volunteers from Japan could provide the support and expertise needed.
He noted that re-introducing Japanese culture, language and education could be key to introducing and raising more Japanese awareness in the University.
Furthermore, the Ambassador proposed Tourism, Innovation and Technology as some disciplines which could be used as a form of delivering Japanese language studies for students with the help of Japanese staff at the University.
Professor Chandra then confirmed that this possibility could be explored further through USP’s School of Language, Arts and Media (SLAM) if Japan was willing to fund it.
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