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Vanuatu PM announces more scholarships for USP’s VISP II

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Hon Jean Pierre Nirua, Vanuatu Minister of Education and Training and Dr Masasso Paunga, Vice President Regional Campuses Estates & Infrastructure signing the LOA.

Vanuatu witnessed a historical event on 8 February, 2019 at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus when Honourable Charlot Salwai, the Prime Minister announced 105 scholarships to freshman in joining the second phase of the Vanuatu In-country Science Programme (VISP II). 

VISP is a programme through USP’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) which will enable high school graduates to complete various science combinations like Mathematics, Physics, Information Systems, Biology and Chemistry of a Bachelor’s degree from Emalus Campus.

The announcement made was in addition to the 90 scholarships the Government provided to science teachers to join the Science Teachers Accelerated Programme (STAP) in June 2018.

Vanuatu PM Hon Charlot Salwai (sitting, middle), Vanuatu Education Minister Hon Jean Pierre Nirua (2nd from left) and Dr Masasso Paunga, USP’s Vice-President Regional Campuses, Estates & Infrastructure (3rd from right) with some of the freshmen for VISP II.

Hon Salwai, who was present then to launch the inaugural phase of the VISP, said he was privileged to witness the second phase of this programme, with a new cohort of freshmen or Year 13 graduates and continuing USP students eager to take on face-to-face studies in the sciences from Emalus Campus.

This he noted, is the gateway to the future of aspiring scientists in Vanuatu.

“In line with the Government’s vision of achieving excellence and innovation for sustainable development of Vanuatu and its mission to provide Vanuatu with a comprehensive range of excellent and relevant tertiary qualification, the Government has partnered with USP in bringing education to the turf of the community,” he stated.

The official launch was attended by Honourable Jean Pierre Nirua, Vanuatu’s Minister of Education and Training; Dr Masasso Paunga, USP’s Vice-President Regional Campuses, Estates & Infrastructure, senior representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training, representatives of the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and USP staff and students.

Hon Jean Pierre Nirua, Vanuatu’s Minister of Education and Training congratulated the scholarships recipients saying the Ministry is instilling its trust in them to make the most of this opportunity, to successfully complete their studies and contribute to Vanuatu country with the science knowledge attained.

Dr Paunga reiterated that VISP II was only made possible due to the strong support and commitment for science from the Honourable Prime Minister and his Government.

“I express sincere gratitude for the trust and support you have given to USP. We hope this also sets a platform for future activities, events and programme which serve the needs of the people of Vanuatu. Thank you for your collaborative efforts,” he noted.

In addition, USP and Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education & Training signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) to see the successful delivery and completion of VISP II.

Dr Paunga said he was proud of USP’s introductory science programme in Vanuatu through STAP and now the launch of the In-country Science Programme for high school graduates.

“I also wish to thank the Government of Vanuatu for their faith and support to USP for providing additional 105 scholarships to students to join the programme,” he mentioned.

Hon Nirua acknowledged USP, “for bringing Science education to our doorstep as VISP has opened doors for us to be able to obtain quality science qualifications without having to leave our loved ones while studying”.

Hon Nirua also extended his sincere gratitude to Dr Paunga, Associate Professor Bibhya Sharma, the Acting Dean FSTE; and his team from Laucala; Mr. Ruben Bakeo Markward the Emalus Campus Director and his team, for making VISP II to reality.

The occasion also witnessed VISP II students being awarded certificates by Dr Paunga, and a tablet each by Hon Salwai. 

Associate Professor Sharma said the issuing of tablets was to encourage the use of technology that USP strongly advocates as it prepares and shapes students for the future.

It was also during the event that the Government provided laptops to its 105 scholarship recipients announced before the VISP II cohort. 


This news item was published on 21 Feb 2019 09:32:41 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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