Graduates were all smiles after the graduation ceremony in Laucala, Fiji.
A total of 1,774 students will be graduating from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) March graduation ceremony for 2018 at the National Gymnasium over a two day period from 22 to 23 March 2018.
On the 22 March, a total of 983 students graduated in a two part ceremony with 642 students graduating in the morning ceremony from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) and the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE); while 341 students were awarded the certificates and diplomas from the Pacific Technical and Further Education in the afternoon ceremony. Seven hundred and eighty-eight (788) students from the Faculty of Business and Economics will be awarded at the ceremony on 23 March.
The ceremony was attended by the Chancellor, the President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote and First Lady Sarote Konrote; Pro- Chancellor and Chair of Council of USP, Mr. Winston Thompson and Mrs. Queenie Thompson; Honourable Ministers and Senior Officials of the Fijian Government; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Heads of International and Regional Organisations; Members of Council, Senate and their Committees; Members of the USP Senior Management Team; Graduands, their families and friends; and staff and students.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President welcomed H.E. Konrote and thanked him for gracing the occasion, making it so much more special for the graduates. He also acknowledged the graduands and their families.
“This year, the graduation ceremony is held over two days and in three sessions reflecting a consistent and significant increase in the number of graduates over the years,” he said.
“We have 1,774 students receiving certificates, diplomas and degrees in this round of graduation at Laucala, 5 per cent more than last year. Since its establishment, the University has issued close to 60,000 qualifications, testifying to its foundational role in the tertiary education of our member countries,” Professor Chandra stated.
Of those that graduated, 345 or 20 per cent were from FSTE, 300 or 17 per cent from FALE and 341 or 19 per cent from Pacific TAFE. The graduation tomorrow will see 788 or 44 per cent graduate from the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE).
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of those graduating are women. Nine hundred and eight (908) or 51 per cent students graduated from undergraduate programmes (certificates, Diplomas and Degrees), 364 students or 21 per cent received postgraduate certificates and diplomas, 143 or 8 per cent received their Master’s Degree. Five (5) students graduated with PhD. Graduates were from 28 countries, including 16 non-member countries.
While addressing the graduates, Professor Chandra congratulated them heartily for reaching a milestone.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President delivering his keynote address.
“What you will go away with today will help you increase the chance of lifelong success anywhere in the world,” he advised the graduates, adding that they will join over 44,000 USP alumni worldwide.
“Today, you really deserve to celebrate your hard work, sacrifice and perseverance. Remember to thank those who have supported you in your journey, your parents and families, sponsors, lecturers and tutors without whose support you would not have reached this far,” he advised.
On USP’s significant achievements, Professor Chandra said USP is now in the last year of its current Strategic Plan and the University has already achieved 81 percent of what it set out to achieve.
The new Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2024 he said, is in the process of being developed and the first draft will be presented to Council in May with the final draft being considered and approved at the November Council.
“While the University has undoubtedly improved its reputation and value in the current Strategic Plan and moved closer to excellence, the new one will ensure that the lift in vision and performance will continue to ensure that USP remains the region’s exemplar in tertiary education, premier provider of highest quality education and the innovation hub of the Pacific as well as the breeding ground of entrepreneurship,” he said.
According to Professor Chandra, the University continues its quest to improve its quality and reputation through international accreditations of its programmes and it now has 26 international accreditations and 10 international recognitions exceeding the Key Performance Indicators of the Strategic Plan.
He added that for a University with no international accreditation before 2013, this is a remarkable achievement.
On the University’s 50th Anniversary, Professor Chandra invited everyone to be a part of this historic event for the University and the region.
“The official launch of the Anniversary was held on 5 February and we will be unveiling the monument in appreciation of the contributions of Royal New Zealand Airforce to the University on 23 March at 5.00pm at the Faculty of Business and Economics,” he said.
“Each of the campuses of USP in the region will have its ‘moment to shine’ as it celebrates the achievements of the campus and the University,” he added.
Professor Chandra thanked USP’s member governments, development partners and friends for their continuous support for the University.
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