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Pacific TAFE Orientation, a success

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Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP addressing students at the 2020 Orientation.

Students of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific TAFE were welcomed warmly by Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor & President of USP at their 2020 Orientation at the Laucala Campus on 30 January.

Professor Ahluwalia said it was a pleasure to meet all of them face-to-face adding that they had made the right choice by choosing to study at USP.

“We are a dual-sector university as we also offer vocational training. Pacific TAFE is a very important part of USP which has two purposes, one is for you to do foundation studies to come into USP which is a very exciting prospect and equally there are so many fantastic courses at Pacific TAFE which will allow you to acquire relevant experience in your desired fields,” he said.

Professor Ahluwalia encouraged students to make new friends and said that the relationships they created at University now would last a lifetime.

He advised that they would have lots of opportunities for placements, internships and engagement.

“We want you to get involved, we are all part of a very large family and we want to ensure that by the time you leave here you become agents of development to change your communities. It is about giving back to the people who have supported you to get you here. It is about being ethical, transparent and accountable,” he added.

Pacific TAFE students during their orientation at the Laucala Campus.

Professor Ahluwalia said that the first week of University life can be quite overwhelming and to make such an experience less daunting, USP is offering a range of counselling services and social events.

Mr Hasmukh Lal, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific TAFE also welcomed the students saying that attending USP is a great way to expand their knowledge, meet new people with diverse backgrounds, culture and interests and enjoy new experiences.

Mr Lal acknowledged the students for choosing USP Pacific TAFE to start or enhance their learning. 

“University is more than just an educational institution. Your university experience will give you the knowledge, skills, confidence and experience to help you make your world better,” he said.

He added that whether they are school leavers or mature students, University opens up a host of new opportunities for growth and lets you take control of your future.

“A university qualification makes you more attractive in the eyes of prospective employers and increases your earning potential.  It shows that you have the ability and self-motivation to learn at a higher level, and the dedication to see your course through to the end.

Mr Lal shared three important messages for the students – to believe in themselves and stay focused; to manage their time and ensure a balance in their work-life-study; and to learn to embrace diversity.

Professor Jito Vanualailai, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education assured the students that they were joining a vibrant, devoted and talented group of academics with a profile and presence second to none.

Cousins Jokapeci Soko and Vueti Loma said they both had left school 20 years ago and were excited about getting a qualification from Pacific TAFE to assist them in their administrative work.

“One of the best things I’ve learnt about Pacific TAFE is that they understand working students and are able to go according to our pace, considering our busy schedules,” Ms Soko said.

The Orientation Week ends tomorrow with entertainment and activities at the Orientation Week village at the student carpark.

This news item was published on 30 Jan 2020 04:38:05 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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