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345 students graduate from USP Emalus

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Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP giving his keynote address.

A total of 345 students graduated from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus held at Epauta Multipurpose Hall in Port Vila on 29 November 2019.

Of this number, 111 were from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE); 65 from the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE); 47 from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) and 122 from Pacific TAFE.

The ceremony was attended by Hon Jean-Pierre Nirua, Vanuatu Education Minister; Hon. Ralph Regenvanua, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade; Justice Vincent Lunabek, Chief Justice of Vanuatu; Mr Winston Thompson, the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council of USP; Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP; Honourable Ministers and Senior Officials of the Vanuatu Government; Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Heads of Regional and International Organisations; Members of Council, Senate and their Committees; graduands and families and friends.#

Mr Winston Thompson awarding a certificate to a graduand.

Professor Ahluwalia warmly welcomed everyone saying it was a great honour to welcome such a diverse community including those who have travelled far from their island homes. He also especially acknowledged representatives of the Vanuatu Government including Hon Nirua and Hon Regenvanua.

Fifty-four (54) per cent of the graduates were females while 46 per cent were males and they were from Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Professor Ahluwalia shared that 23 Masters certificates were awarded from FALE and FBE. These he said, are significant numbers and testimony to the quality and excellence that is prevalent within the University.

The Chancellor’s party at the Emalus Campus graduation. To the far right is Hon Jean-Pierree Nirua, Vanuatu’s Education Minister.

To the graduands, Professor Ahluwalia said that what they had achieved is a significant accomplishment. 

He said that regardless of their chosen field of study, graduation signifies the culmination of several years of hard work on their part. 

“Today is a celebration of your efforts, and also offers a time for us to thank the academic and professional staff who have been absolutely committed to helping you to achieve your learning goals.

“Thanks must go to the family and friends, employers, colleagues and mentors who have also played an important role in the success of each graduand.  You can all be justly proud of your efforts,” he mentioned.

Professor Ahluwalia said that while it was a day of celebration, it also represented a point of departure for some of them, to a new stage, where they have the opportunity to make their mark in the community.

The University he said, has endeavoured to instil in them, a body of knowledge and a set of qualities that will prepare them for their future life.

“However, the true value of your education lies in how you use this knowledge for the greater good of your communities, your countries and the Pacific region,” he stated.

He advised graduands never to settle for second best in all that they would do.

The Pacific, he added, is plagued with great insecurities as a result of climate change that challenges our livelihoods and sovereignty.

“Equally, the Pacific already has demonstrated to the world its innovative nature and capacity for resilience,” he stated.

Professor Ahluwalia challenged them to take the best of their insights, experiences and knowledge, and turn them into actions in order to improve people’s lives and prospects.

He also made mention of some of the accomplishments of the University including the successful 89th Council meeting in Suva and the approval of a revised Strategic Plan for the University for 2019 to 2021.

He noted that the revised Strategic Plan is targeted to increase enrolments, focus our learning and teaching delivery, improve our student support services, increase our research profile, partner with our member countries and positively impact higher education in the Pacific region.

The Strategic Plan he said, is founded in values-led education encompassing excellence and creativity, ethics and accountability, respect and inclusivity and supporting our students.

“We are committed to strengthening Pacific societies and respecting the diversity of our Pacific cultures. Progress on the Strategic Plan will be regularly reported to the University Council,” he said.

Another achievement is the approval of the University’s Annual Plan for 2020 which sets the budget and work of the University in the New Year.

He added that USP remains aspirational, energetic and committed to change and success, ensuring an enduring partnership with each of them. 

“There is little doubt that the knowledge, skills and values that you have developed during your studies here at USP will help you become leaders within your communities well into the future,” he said.

This news item was published on 3 Dec 2019 04:26:30 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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