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USP Council accorded Fijian traditional welcome

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Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts during his address to USP Council members.

The Fijian Government Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts and National Archives of Fiji accorded The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Council members a formal traditional Fijian welcome and dinner on 24 October 2017 at the Iloilovatu Hall in Viseisei Village in Vuda, Lautoka. The traditional welcome was hosted by the Vanua Vuda.

Mr Iowane Tiko, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts formally welcomed the delegation including the Education Ministers from the Pacific region, the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council Mr Winston Thompson, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra and the rest of the Council members.

Mr Tiko highlighted that he was privileged to meet the Pacific leaders of Education and discuss important issues for the advancement of the region.

“We meet together as firm friends, always united through history and experience and determination to advance the values of Pacific civilization in the Pacific region,” Mr Tiko said.

USP Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council during the acceptance remarks during the dinner hosted by the Fijian Government.

Mr Tiko said that it was a privilege and an honor to be part of USP, which has greatly assisted all our citizens to work and walk together with the rest of the world.

“This highly knowledge based world is not a mere accident. Our islands are bound together by a common history, and the endless exploration of new frontiers for education comes up every now and then,” he added.

Mr Tiko acknowledged the role played by USP in developing the human resources of the Pacific region.

“Our human resources have expanded to all parts of the world and have scaled the heights of education to unbelievable success. And we can stand here to proudly say that USP has started it all for most of them,” Mr Tiko said.

“Our people share our common heritage, the quest for better education that will enable us to become fully independent nations. We are also bound together by common traditions in our rich cultural heritage as you have just witnessed tonight.”

He highlighted that indeed over the recent past, USP through its graduates has become the major contributor to nation building since the early days of independence for most of the South Pacific region.

The Vanua Vuda during the traditional ceremony for the members of the USP Council.

“Many of our colleagues, friends and associates, including those in government and industry, studied at USP. It is the place where those crucial first networks are made, it’s increasingly where Pacific professionals return for seminars, debates and further studies,” Mr Tiko stated.

He added that the immense achievement by USP over the past decades deserves a high congratulations and a typical Pasifika style celebration.

“Not only that, in a world and in an era where disintegration and conflicts seems to be the order of the day, I firmly believe that USP has proudly stood out as a courageous example of regional cooperation, and of unity,” Mr Tiko said.

Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mr Thompson thanked the Government of Fiji on behalf of the University Council for the traditional welcome given to the Council members and USP.

“I would like to pass on the deep appreciation of the University Council to you Permanent Secretary, and to the VanuaVuda for hospitality that is offered and to recognise the meeting of the University Council in Nadi this year,” Mr Thompson said.

He added that the Council is a very important time for the University, it is facing many challenges, and we rely on for support from our member governments as we go forward.

“Without the support of our member Governments, I don’t think this institution can make progress. To maintain our viability into the future, I believe it is crucial that the Government support remains strong,” he added.

The 85th USP Council meeting ends on 25 October 2017.

This news item was published on 25 Oct 2017 11:51:16 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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