Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President with USP staff and members of the Media at the Laucala Campus.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) organised a ‘Meet the Media’ event on 13 February, 2018 at the Japan-Pacific ICT Conference room at the Laucala Campus, in an effort to strengthen its partnership with members of the Media in Fiji.
The event was organised not only to renew partnerships but to acknowledge the Media for its coverage of activities and developments of USP.
In addressing media representatives that turned out in numbers, Professor Chandra said the occasion was especially set aside for the media, the University’s main partners, “because we recognise that your hard work, dedication and commitment, have brought the University thus far as the premier provider of higher education in the region”.
Professor Chandra noted that since the establishment of the University in 1968, the media has worked with us in not only raising awareness of our programmes and courses but carried human interest stories of USP’s students and alumni.
He also stated how proud he was to see some USP alumni working in the media industry.
“You have helped put USP on the world map because of your many positive stories, coverage and testimonies shared by those fortunate enough to have been nurtured here or been a part of.
“Please take this as the University’s and my own personal appreciation and acknowledgement to every media outlet, journalist and photographer who, with a stroke of a pen or click of a camera has bought us the much needed coverage and exciting and positive publicity that we are enjoying today,” Professor Chandra said.
He further stated that USP has also faced negative publicity from the media occasionally, but also given the opportunity to respond and clarify issues.
“And I think that factual report is what matters at the end of day. Any story, particularly negative ones requires awareness of facts and when this is done we have no issues,” he explained.
Professor Chandra said USP is hopeful that the relationship with the media can be taken even further “as we build on our coverage for the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations this year and beyond”.
“The celebration is more to do with achievements of the premier regional University of 5 decades and let’s celebrate it together,” he added.
Professor Chandra also highlighted some of the achievements of the University including the fact that over the past 50 years, more than 45,000 students have graduated from USP and more than 62,000 qualifications have been awarded in this period.
“Research is also something that USP has made a major contribution to and recently the scale, quantity and impact of research has increased greatly. We have exceeded our targets in the Strategic Plan in terms of ranked publications, and in the last three years we obtained five patents,” he explained.
“Obtaining of patents is crucial because it indicates that our researchers are confident to think of creating new things, either come up with new products or new ways of thinking that results in the improvement of lives in the Pacific,” he said.
Professor Chandra also confirmed that USP is working closely with its development partners particularly Australia, New Zealand, European Union and Japan (among others).
“In fact, USP will not be where it is today without the support of our development partners and we remain committed to each other of them,” he noted.
Mr Peter Stewart, USP’s 50th Anniversary Project Manager also briefed the media on plans for the celebrations and the schedule of events for the year, across USP’s 12 campuses.
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