A total of 52 students were awarded for their outstanding performance at a special ceremony.
A total of fifty-two (52) students of The University of the South Pacific (USP) received gold medals in fifty-eight (58) categories during the annual Medals and Prizes Ceremony at the Japan – Pacific ICT Multi-Purpose Theatre, Laucala Campus on 20 March 2018.
Those who attended the ceremony included His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, President of Fiji and the USP Chancellor and Mrs Sarote Konrote; Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council and Mrs Queenie Thompson; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Members of Council, Senate, Finance and Investments Committee and Audit and Risk Committee; Members of the Senior Management Team and senior and support staff of USP; sponsors, families and friends of Medals and Prizes recipients.
Professor Richard Coll, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS) extended a warm welcome to the Chancellor, His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote and Mrs Sarote Konrote to their first Medal and Prizes awards ceremony.
The ceremony was a very special one because of the record number of categories and high achievers this year. Categories increased by nine (9) this year. Of the fifty-two (52) awardees, twenty-seven (27) were females. Three (3) students were awarded the Vice-Chancellor and President’s all-rounder award. Apart from Fiji awardees, there were nine (9) students from USP’s regional member countries including two (2) from Kiribati, two (2) from Vanuatu, two (2) from Tonga and 1 each from Samoa, Niue and the Republic of Marshall Islands.
Amongst the awardees, twenty-four (24) students were sponsored under various scholarship schemes such as the National Toppers Scheme, Tertiary Education and Loan Scheme (TELS), Australian Awards Pacific Scholarship, Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment Graduate Assistant scholarship, Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research and Innovation, and USP’s staff sponsorship scheme.
In honouring the high achievers, Professor Coll said the awardees proved that our Pacific region is full of brilliant and talented individuals, who have the drive to excel and compete against other students, anywhere in the world.
“These awards are but a small tribute to honouring your hard work, dedication and accomplishments in your respective fields of study. Each one of you here tonight has been chosen purely on merit. And as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary year, we are proud that you all are excellent ambassadors of this University,” Professor Coll relayed.
“The road to excellence requires hard work, dedication, focus, ambition, commitment and countless sacrifices. It is not an easy path. Our young achievers have shown us that anything is possible if one has the right mindset, attitude and inspiration to achieve. You are stars of tonight’s function. I want to personally thank you for bringing credit to yourselves, your families, countries and the University,” he stated.
He said it was not only a proud moment for the awardees, but also for the University to have students who are not only doing well academically but also are socially responsible and have provided outstanding service to the University over the duration of their programme.
“These students, ladies and gentlemen, have gone above and beyond what is expected of USP students and have provided their service to the wider community over the duration of their studies at the University,” he added.
Professor Coll also congratulated parents, guardians, spouses, families and friends, who had given the awardees such a strong foundation to excel, adding that it was a proud occasion for them as well.
Sponsors for all categories were also acknowledged greatly and Professor Coll highlighted that the partnership between the private sector and USP has seen greater collaboration with students gaining practical knowledge and research opportunities with the best organisations in the region.
“We appreciate the trust and confidence that you have in our institution and your faith in the potential of our students,” he said.
Professor Coll highlighted that academic excellence is the cornerstone of any good university and USP has a lot to be proud of, adding that today the University is an institution that is markedly more flexible, resilient, and innovative than ever before.
“An institution is only as great as its people. Our student experience, characterised by talented academics, inspiring research, plentiful opportunities for debate and enrichment, access to multicultural activities and friendly sporting and cultural events that build up Pacific consciousness, is one of USP’s biggest strengths, and that student experience is shaped by USP staff,” he said.
Professor Coll noted that the University has been a leader in tertiary education in the region through the quality of our programmes which are accredited to international standards.
“Accreditation is what differentiates us most from other tertiary and higher education providers in the region. This is why employers value us and the reason we are the first choice for students, parents and governments. We currently have a total of twenty-six (26) programmes internationally accredited and ten (10) recognised,” he said.
Professor Coll added that towards the end of USP’s 50th Anniversary year, the University will be releasing its Strategic Plan for the next six (6) year cycle.
“USP is confident that the next 50 years will be even more exciting than the last and it will go from an excellent to a great university. We trust that all of you will be part of USP’s continuing journey of achievement and service,” he added.
Corporate sponsors funded 34 awards for this event. The Event’s sponsors were FDB, Fiji Sun, Xerox Business Centre, BSP Life, Mai Life, Signspluz, Quality Print, Star Printery, Home Finance, Credit Corp, Fiji Institute of Accountants, KPMG, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Professor Nowak (FBE), Lionel Gibson Memorial, Redox, Tanoa Hotels, Vodafone, Mr John Gibbons, IXOM, Datec, Tropical Garments/GEM Fiji, Telecom Fiji Limited, Formscaff, Fiji Electricity Authority, Dr David Rohindra (FSTE), Centre for Flexible Learning (USP), BSP, Nands Pharmacy, Pacific TAFE (USP), Faculty of Arts, Language and Education (USP), Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (USP), Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), Pro Design Images Fiji Limited, Subrails Furniture Centre, Carpenters Finance, Vision Motors, Fiji Gas, ANZ and Westpac Bank.
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