Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President welcoming stakeholders at the OCACPS at the Laucala Campus.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) hosted an evening for its Corporate Partners at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the Laucala Campus on 23 November, 2017.
This was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Fijian Government, Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) Board, development partners, business leaders, civil society organisations, staff and friends of the University.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President in his remarks said USP’s success depends strongly on their engagement, assistance and partnership.
“As we reflect on 2017, we are pleased to note that it has been a particularly successful year for USP. We worked very hard in 2017 because this was our sixth year of the Strategic Plan and we wondered on occasions, whether we would be able to achieve some of the quite stretched goals that we had set for ourselves,” Professor Chandra remarked.
“I am very pleased that staff have worked very hard and the University has continued to make good progress to the point that today we feel very confident that the bulk of the objectives, initiatives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the Strategic Plan (2013-2018) would be achieved by the end of next year,” he stated.
Professor Chandra announced that given the core aim of the Strategic Plan is transforming the University from a good to an excellent one, he is pleased that this year, USP has exceeded its target of obtaining the required number of international accreditations.
“We have already achieved 24 international accreditations, and where we do not have international accreditations, we have been able to receive recognition of our programmes that indicate its equivalence to international programmes,” he noted.
He said that the international accreditation of USP’s programmes mean that they are comparable to those in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
According to Professor Chandra, USP is also seeking accreditation of the entire institution and is working closely with the American accreditors, the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
He confirmed that USP had introduced some new programmes for the region this year and it will do the same next year, so that it continues to meet the region’s requirements.
He highlighted the fact that one of the most outstanding successes of USP this year, is that it has been able to obtain three innovation patents.
“Patents represent the apex of our scientific research and to receive three in one year is a major boost to the University, so clearly we have been building momentum.
“I am absolutely confident that the University will receive more patents, so our next step now is to commercialise them,” he said.
Professor Chandra announced that USP exceeded its target in the way of A and A* publications, adding that the University has done extremely well with regard to Research, Development and Innovation.
“Our enrolment has reached 30,000 this year, a far cry from the mere 295 students who came to USP in February of 1968. This number is about 67 per cent increase from the 18,000 we recorded in 2008, when I became the Vice-Chancellor and this indicates that people value qualification, reputation and experience at USP,” he noted.
He also highlighted that USP recently had a successful High Level Consultation with Australia and New Zealand and that they were pleased with the University’s progress hence re-committed themselves for the next long phase of partnership with the University.
Professor Chandra added that USP is starting major commercial activities and “we are pleased to have recently signed an MOU with FNPF that will see the frontage of the University around the main entrance transformed into a landmark commercial development in Suva”.
He added that USP has improved its reputation as a regional organisation and is leading two major initiatives around Education and ICT in the region.
“We will go into 2018 with an excellent annual plan and for the first time in our history our income will cross $200 million,” he remarked.
Professor Chandra added that USP’s 50th anniversary will be a landmark achievement for the region “because almost no other regional entity has been as successful as USP”.
“USP is actually building the foundation of development through its education, human resource, research and development. It is an institution that has expanded its membership from its initial number and now more countries want to join USP,” he stressed.
Furthermore, he added, that USP’s 50th anniversary will be launched by His Excellency, Jioji Konrote, USP Chancellor and President of Fiji on 5 February, 2018, to mark the date when the first students came into campus in 1968.
All USP stakeholders will be invited to attend and celebrate the event.
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