(L-R): Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor and President with Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council during the 85th Council meeting in Nadi.
The 85th Council meeting of The University of the South Pacific (USP) began at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi, Fiji on 24 October 2017.
USP Council is the highest decision-making body of the University, and meets twice a year to discuss the affairs of the University. The first meeting of the USP Council is normally held in one of the 11 member countries of USP and the second meeting is always held in Fiji. The two day meeting is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mr Winston Thompson.
The Council comprises Pro-Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor and President, representatives of the 12 member country governments, staff, students, community and business leaders. One representative from Australia and New Zealand and a member of a CROP agency are also part of the Council. A representative each from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) also attended as Observers.
Members of the USP Council were presented with reports from the Pro-Chancellor Mr Thompson and the Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra in the areas of Learning and Teaching, Student Support, Research and Internationalisation, Information and Communication Technology, Regional and Community Engagement, Governance, Management, Leadership and Continuous Improvement.
Mr Thompson informed the Council about the upcoming golden jubilee celebrations planned for USP and highlighted that theUniversity will launch a special 50th anniversary logo, theme and website on day two of the Council meeting on 25 October 2017.
“The success of the celebrations of USP’s 50th anniversary depends largely on the support of our member countries, development partners and major stakeholders, to make it as widespread as possible,” Mr Thompson added.
Some of the key achievements highlighted by Professor Chandra, amongst others, included increase in enrolment, preparation of the Annual Plan 2018, accreditation and recognition of programmes, the implementation of USP’s current Strategic Plan 2013-2018, and process for developing the new Strategic Plan (2019-2024).
Professor Chandra emphasised on the strong support and confidence of USP member countries and major development partners towards the University.
Members of USP’s 85th Council meeting in Nadi.
He also emphasised the good progress on the increasing number of international accreditations and recognitions received by the University.
“USP now has 24 programmes internationally accredited and 8 recognised out of which 5 accreditations and 4 recognitions were received since the last Council meeting in May in Majuro, Marshall Islands,” Professor Chandra said.
He noted that the University had exceeded its Strategic Plan (2013 – 2018) target for international accreditations and recognitions.
Professor Chandra informed members of the Council on the steps taken by the University in promoting online learning through two new policies namely the Flexible Learning Policy and Open Educational Resources (OER) policy.
“I would also like to highlight that we have the lecture capture initiative in place and students now have access to almost all lectures at the Laucala, Emalus and Alafua campuses, in the blended mode,” he said.
Other updates included the new Solomon Islands Campus construction; the research outputs and publications; international student recruitment; regional engagement updates including briefing from the second meeting of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) ICT Working Group and the 43rd CROP Executives meeting; USP’s involvement in the Oceans Conference; and the academic-professional staff delinking process.
The 85th meeting of the USP Council will conclude with a formal dinner to be hosted by Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor & Chair of USP Council, and Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President on 25 October at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi.
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