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USP hosts Australian PM at Laucala Campus

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(From L-R): Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President, Honourable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, Hon. Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, and Mr. Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council.

The Honourable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia visited The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala Campus on 18 January 2019.

The event was attended by the Hon. Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts;Hon. Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific; Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council, Mr. Winston Thompson; H.E. Mr. John Feakes, the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Heads of Regional and International Organisations; Members of the Private Sector and NGOs; Senior Management, Staff, Alumni and Students of the University and media representatives.

Amidst a packed auditorium, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President extended a warm welcome to Hon. Morrison saying USP was honoured to host him on his first visit to the University.

He also acknowledged the Hon. Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, as well as Hon. Anne Ruston, Australia’s Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

The event he said, was a historic occasion for the University and all its Member Countries.

“We have had the pleasure of hosting various Australian Ministers and to have the current Prime Minister of Australia here at our Campus reinforces the importance of our partnership,” he mentioned. 

USP and Australia he said, have enjoyed a longstanding relationship since its inception in 1968 and the Australian Government has worked with, and supported, the University over the last 50 years.

“The Australian Government’s assistance has meant that the University has been able to meet its critical needs through infrastructure development, provision of scholarships, ICT, enhancing research performance and numerous capacity building initiatives,” he said.

Professor Ahluwalia further mentioned that it has helped to enhance the University’s reputation and global standing and cemented its place as an exemplar of regional cooperation and integration.

Hon Morrison expressed his delight in being present at USP and congratulated Professor Ahluwalia for his new posting.

He also acknowledged Professor Rajesh Chandra for his efforts in serving USP and the region for a decade.

Hon Morrison stated that Australia is proud to be associated with USP over the longer term, adding that it is investing in the young people of the region by focusing on improving the quality of teacher education and education of students at tertiary levels.

He also thanked USP for being such a generous host and being a fine institution.

Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council expressed the University community’s appreciation to Hon Morrison, his Government and to the people of Australia for the substantial and steadfast support provided to the University over the last 50 years.

Australia’s support he said, has “immeasurably raised the University’s quality and international standing as a research and teaching institution”.

Mr Thompson said USP looked forward to the continuation of this valuable support in the future.

“This visit indeed is historic not only for the University but also for all our 12 Pacific Island Member Countries. We are honoured and thankful for this opportunity to hear you, Hon. Prime Minister, and we are beyond pleased to note that your Government is committed to continuing its support to the region,” he stated.

Mr Thomspon added that Hon Morrison’s visit reaffirmed “USP’s confidence in what we do and what we are working to achieve as the region’s leading University”.

The event was livestreamed to the region and across the world.



Photo Gallery

Opening remarks by Vice-Chancellor and President

Vote of Thanks by Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council


This news item was published on 19 Jan 2019 02:54:16 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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