Advisory 13

Dear Staff and Students

Further to our communication yesterday, The University of the South Pacific Disaster Management Committee (USP DISMAC) met this morning, and in light of the COVID-19 confirmed case in Fiji, the University is taking the following measures to safeguard our staff and students. The University is cognizant of USP Member Government guidelines in their jurisdictions and this advisory draws upon national guidelines.

1. Extended Mid-Semester Break

Effective today, USP DISMAC has authorized that the Mid-Semester break will be extended by an additional week. This means that our academic year has effectively been extended by one week. It is expected that classes will resume on Monday 6 April 2020. Students are encouraged to study remotely but our Campuses (except Lautoka) will only be open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday during this period.

During the extended Mid-Semester break, there will be no tests or other forms of assessments and alternative arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Staff will work normally and USP will use this time to prepare for transition to increase remote teaching of our courses.

2.       Lautoka Campus

Please note that USP Lautoka Campus remains at Level 3 of our COVID-19 Pandemic Management Plan, meaning that the Campus is closed. We will provide further advice following Fiji Government recommendations before the 6th of April.

3.       Students Resident in the Laucala Halls

The University advises all Fiji students resident at Laucala Campus to return home as soon as possible and at the latest by Monday 23 March 2020. If circumstances do not allow this given national advisories, please contact the Halls Manager on alfred.antonio@usp.ac.fj or phone +679 32 32280.

For students from Lautoka who are resident at Laucala Campus, you have the option to remain in the Halls, depending upon individual circumstances. For any assistance, please contact the Halls Manager.

4.       International and Regional Students

USP understands that a number of international and regional students remain on our campuses and we are fully committed to supporting them. For any assistance, please contact lillian.fuata@usp.ac.fj or phone +679 32 31753.

5.       Facilities

All recreational facilities including the gym, swimming pool and playgrounds at Laucala Campus will remain closed during the extended Mid-Semester break. Nevertheless, other facilities in Campuses other than Lautoka, such as the Library and computer labs will remain open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday during the extended Mid-Semester break.

6.       Staffing

The University remains open as per normal for our staff, except for Lautoka Campus. However, any staff who has returned from overseas in accordance with national protocols will need to self-isolate for 14 days, and where possible work from home.

Please note that the University is constantly monitoring and reviewing the COVID-19 Pandemic and we request that USP staff and students regularly check their emails, USP website http://www.usp.ac.fj/ and USP social media outlets. DISMAC also encourages all staff and students to practice clean hygiene protocols, social distancing and limit travel and movement.

We thank you for your understanding in these difficult and turbulent times.

Professor Pal Ahluwalia,

Vice-Chancellor and President

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