H.E Mr Wahidullah Waissi, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and Professor Pal Ahluwalia, VC&P USP (middle) with three Afghanistan students. To the far left is Iresh Lal, Development Manager at USP’s SPAC office.
His Excellency Mr Wahidullah Waissi, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, paid a courtesy visit to The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala Campus on 4 June 2019.
Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP extended a warm welcome to H.E Waissi, who reciprocated the kind gesture.
H.E Waissi was informed that the University would like to have more students from Afghanistan studying at USP.
Professor Ahluwalia stated that the total number of students at USP is approximately 30,000, and the University has 14 campuses at all of its 12 member countries.
“Most of our graduates occupy very senior Government positions in our member countries and mostly, Ministers and Prime Ministers have all been educated at USP,” he said.
He mentioned that for USP climate change is one of the biggest issues as it concerns the survival and well-being of Pacific island communities.
“We are leading in climate change since this is huge for us so we have a team of world class researchers in this area. Two of our researchers are involved in preparation of the IPCC report,” he said.
USP, he added, is also doing a lot of work around education.
“We are currently lifting the standards of teacher training in the region and also upgrading teacher’s qualification, we are doing cohort training and there is also a lot of focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),” he said.
H.E Waissi was told that USP is a dual sector university with Pacific TAFE doing its vocational training including provision of courses in tourism and hospitality, among others.
The Ambassador acknowledged Professor Ahluwalia’s presentation and was appreciative of the role of the University in the region.
He also briefly met with three Afghanistan students after the meeting.
Ambassador Waissi studied in the United States and holds a Masters Degree in Development Economics from the Centre for Development Economics of Williams College. He is also a visiting scholar of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the SAIS/Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC, a fellowship programme for raising regional leaders in government, commerce, and academia from Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan (CAMCA).
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