The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, and with the recent developments in Fiji, we have had to make some changes to our teaching plans for this semester.
The University has therefore approved the following measures, to allow the continuity of quality learning and teaching for all students, and to ensure students are adequately supported during this difficult time.
Resumption of Semester 1
Semester 1-2021 will resume on 10 May 2021.
All Semester 1 face-to-face courses will be delivered remotely.
Non-residential students at Laucala Campus will not be allowed to come on campus until further notice.
For students at Lautoka and Labasa Campuses, please contact the Campus Director.
Other Regional Campuses remain open for students.
Online Learning and Teaching
- Lectures, tutorials and assessments will be delivered virtually, via Zoom, Big Blue Button (BBB) and other methods, unless otherwise advised by your School. Recordings of lectures will be available on Moodle within one hour after class ends. The University will soon be conducting ‘How to use Zoom’ virtual trainings for students.
- Course Coordinators will communicate all changes to assessments and learning activities to students via Moodle, and changes will be captured in a revised Course Outline or supplement to the Course Outline. Students are urged to contact their Course Coordinators directly for any clarification.
- Teaching and support staff are actively working to ensure all students will have access to learning resources and materials on Moodle. To assist those students with limited connectivity, Course Coordinators are developing Offline Print Packs (OPPs) of their courses for distribution to all students. An OPP is a compact downloadable PRINT version of the course that is a collection of PDFs, documents, videos, etc. containing the contents that are available in the Moodle course shells. It is a supplementary material that can be used offline as well.
- USP Students’ Association (USPSA) recently administered a survey to gauge students’ learning needs. The University is addressing the recommendations received and consequently is working on operationalising its Toll-Free Call Centre virtually. In the meantime, students can dial the toll-free number 1568 to seek any advice.
- USP is currently negotiating with Vodafone and Digicel for USP websites (including Moodle) to be freely accessed by students in Fiji for the rest of Semester 1. It is hoped that this will be possible next week. USP is pursuing the same initiative with other Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the region.
Student and Pastoral Support
In light of the Fiji Government announcement that all Fiji residents are to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons, or essential work, the following student support and pastoral services are available online:
Student Learning Support (SLS) staff and services are being delivered online via Moodle https://elearn.usp.ac.fj/course/view.php?id=962
- Use the Library’s gateway http://www.usp.ac.fj/library for access to services and collections as you study, and work from home.
- The Library encourages the use of its wide range of interdisciplinary and subject online resources accessible via the Library website. Go to ‘databases’ and ‘open access resources’ on the Library site http://www.usp.ac.fj/library
- For specific guidance on subject resources use the Libguides service at https://usp.ac.fj.libguides.com/index.php?b=s
- Students are reminded that many Reserve Collection titles are accessible online as ebooks
- The online reference service Ask-A-Librarianis an excellent option for assistance during this period of restricted movement. Refer http://www.usp.ac.fj/index.php?id=22396
- No fines will be imposed in the period 21 April 2021 until further notice for late return of items to the Laucala, Lower Campus, Lautoka and Labasa campus libraries.
- For Laucala On-Campus students, books can be returned via the Book Return Chute on the verandah.
- The online mandatory Information Research Skills programme for Post-Graduate Students continues in the period of restricted movement. Contact irs(at)library.usp.ac.fj or Ms Vasiti Chambers firstname.lastname@example.org should you need assistance.
USP Health and Wellness Centre (Covering all Regional Students at Laucala Campus)
- The Health and Wellness Centre will be open on Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm. There is a Medical Officer (GP) and Medical Centre staff available to assist Regional students;
- For any after-hour emergencies, students can visit the nearest Health Centre; visit CWM Hospital or call on +679 3313 444 or the Sia Sathya Sai Sanjeenvani Medical Centre on +679 837 2361. Please note the Raiwaqa Health Centre is currently closed to the public and the Sia Sathya Sai Sanjeenvani Medical Centre closes at 5pm on Monday to Friday.
- Off-campus regional students can visit the Laucala Campus Health and Wellness Centre, Raiwaqa Health Centre (when it reopens) or Sia Sathya Sai Sanjeenvani Medical Centre and will not be charged;
- Students covered by the University Health Care Scheme, with a referral, can access CWM services and will be reimbursed for any incurred charges.
Counselling services (Personal)
Counselling services are being offered remotely, that is, via telephony (Free of Charge) across Fiji and via Skype to the region.
Staff and Students can call +679 945 7323 or email eap(at)empowerpacific.com or Joleen(at)usp.ac.fj . Leave your name, location and contact number and a counselor will be in touch to assist you.
Careers and Entrepreneurship
The Centre staff are hosting virtual sessions on career topics and will be made available to all students. Students can call the Centre on +679 845 2929 / +679 940 9875 or email semi.bilitaki(at)usp.ac.fj
I take this opportunity to wish all our staff and students the best for the rest of Semester 1.
Professor Jito Vanualailai
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)