Successful 50th Anniversary Celebration at USP Kiribati Campus
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His Excellency Taneti Maamau, President of Kiribati, during his address at the opening of the Kiribati Campus 50th Anniversary celebration.
The University of the South Pacific’ (USP) Kiribati Campus had a successful 50th Anniversary celebration from 30th July and concluded with the Campus graduation on 3 August 2018.
Present at the opening of the 50th Anniversary celebration ‘Moment to Shine’ were His Excellency Taneti Maamau, President of Kiribati and Madam Teiraeng Maamau, Former Presidents of Kiribati, Sir Ieremia Tabai and His Excellency Anote Tong and their wives, the Chief Justice, chairperson of the public service commission, government ministers, members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, heads of churches, members of the Kiribati Campus Advisory Council, heads and representatives of regional and international bodies, former directors and senior staff of USP, officials from the Laucala Campus, Kiribati Campus, alumni and students. Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP and Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council joined in for the celebrations from 2 August.
While officially opening the celebrations, H.E Maamau highlighted that the five (5) decades of continuous growth by USP is something worthwhile to look back and ponder, and in particular, to celebrate.
He added that the process of growth is not always easy; it takes different and unique forms; it can be a story of difficulties, and successes only, or a combination of both.
“In most cases, nurturing a higher institute in a soil of a developing country such as Kiribati is often dominated by difficulties, hardships and challenges. But in the case of USP Kiribati campus, this is a story of growth, challenges and success which is highly commendable,” H.E Maamau said.
The President provided a brief account of the history of the Kiribati Campus and the recent construction of the new triple storey building for the Kiribati Campus in November 2015.
To this, he mentioned that the Public Service Office, the Ministry of Education and other Ministries and Government bodies work closely with the Kiribati campus to try and utilise more of the new building by finding better ways where more students and public servants can have access to higher education.
“Most importantly, it is expected that the USP Campus should continue to deliver relevant programmes and projects that meet new demands and challenges that Kiribati is now facing, particularly that of climate change, and rapid population growth, and urbanisation,” H.E Maamau said.
His Excellency Taneti Maamau President of Kiribati and Madam Teiraeng Maamau unveil the 50th Anniversary plaque.
He acknowledged the latest cohort delivery initiation by the University, stressing that with this arrangement with the USP Kiribati Campus, more students and public servants are now able to complete their programmes straight from the Kiribati.
“I truly believe that many of you, who are sitting here at this opening, have a connection to and heart in USP, either as proud I-Kiribati who values USP, an Alumni, former worker of USP, parents who send their children to USP, a prominent leader of Kiribati who has contributed to USP, and even our development partners that are genuinely assisting us in the growth of USP,” he further added.
“We deserve to have this special moment to thank one another for the job well done and to continue the journey of working hard together, and to take bold development steps for the better future growth of USP. In so doing, this can contribute to the enabling of a better country for our future children. Again, this is the moment to congratulate and enjoy this celebration.”
Acting Campus Director, Dr Takuia Uakeia thanked everyone for the fifty (50) year journey of the University and expressed his sincere gratitude to those who were present to celebrate this milestone achievement.
“Travelling through fifty (50) years is a long journey and this cannot be only possible by the effort of certain people, the government or the University alone so I would like to say thank you to the current Government, previous Governments and former leaders, the University Council, Senior Management Leaders of the University, development partners, former directors and workers of the Kiribati Campus, Alumni, Friends, Students and Members of the Community for your continued effort in supporting the USP and in particular the Kiribati Campus,” Dr Uakeia said.
Some of the activities of the week-long celebration included Panel Discussions addressing the question of ‘Is USP the national University of Kiribati?’; USP Graduate Seminar Night; USP Prominent Graduate Role Model Night; Kiribati Campus Open Day on 2 August and ended with the Campus graduation on 3 August 2018, which also saw the President, H.E Maamau installed as the 25th Chancellor.
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