Glossary, Abbreviations and Acronyms

Academic Advising Academic advice given to students according to the Academic Advice Framework with the intent of aiding students in making informed academic decisions.
Academic Advice Framework The Framework is based on Academic Regulations to provide academic guidance.
Academic Year (Level 7 & above) Comprises of two semesters, each of 18 weeks in length, or 3 semesters each of 12 weeks. For a full time student total workload Learning Hours for one year will be between 1500-1800.
Academic Progress Grade Point Average (APGPA) This is the sum of all grade points achieved, divided by the number of courses attempted within a Senate-approved programme. Where a student repeats a course, only the highest grade achieved for that course shall be included in the calculation of the APGPA. For students returning from academic suspension, the consideration of progress for the APGPA shall be the sum of all grade points since resumption.
Academic Unit faculties, schools, departments, institutes, centres and other academic divisions requiring specific budgetary allocation
Admission The process of applying to study and being offered a place at The University of the South Pacific.
Aegrotat Pass A pass granted (on application) to a student who falls ill immediately prior to or during their final examination. A student’s eligibility for an aegrotat pass is based on their achieving a coursework grade of B, a valid reason and relevant supporting documentation.
Assessment Gathering evidence about the current levels of capability and competency of students using valid (fit-for-purpose) tasks.
Assessment Task A fit-for-purpose task or activity used to develop and evaluate students’ achievement of course learning outcomes.
At-risk Student A student who shows early indication(s), or past history, of unsatisfactory academic performance or non-academic circumstances, putting them at risk of failure.
Attrition Rate The percentage of enrolments which were not retained by the University (either as graduates or returnees). The University retention rate plus attrition rate equals 100%. Note that Retention rate is a lagging indicator by 12 months (1 year).
Auditing a Course Attendance in a course on a non-credit basis.
Award The qualification given to students after they have successfully completed all the requirements of their programme.
Campuses A physical location where the University provides teaching and engages in research. The University of the South Pacific is a multi-campus university and has 14 teaching campuses. All campuses outside the Laucala Campus are classified as regional campuses.
Candidate A person admitted to a course and enrolled at the University until such time as that person has completed, is withdrawn from, been excluded from, or is determined to have abandoned the programme in which they are enrolled.
Careers Office An office within Campus Life that offers programmes and services that connect students and recent graduates with employers.
Cohort A cohort is a group of students often enrolled in a programme during a specific period of time, selected from a particular industry/agency or other organisational partner, donor/funding agencies with the University.
Cohort programme A programme delivered on cohort basis is an intensive form of learning which can be offered during an academic term and through a variety of modes delivering the same outcomes as semester/trimester delivery.
Combined Degree Programme An approved programme of study made up of two normally separate programmes. Students enrolled in combined degree programmes receive a single award upon completion of their course requirements. As students are specifically enrolled in the combined degree, it is not possible to graduate from either programme separately.
Compassionate Pass A pass granted (on application) to students who under exceptional circumstances beyond their control and other than their own illness or injury and who consider that their performance in examination will be or was seriously impaired by the same circumstances. Students’ eligibility for a compassionate pass is based on their achieving a coursework grade of B or above.
Competence The ability to apply knowledge and skills in context, which is described using learning outcomes.
Completion The administrative process of checking that a student has met all the requirements of a programme in which they wish to graduate.
Compulsory Course A course that must be completed to meet the requirements of a programme. This is also referred to as a core course.
Computer Laboratory A general purpose or specifically designed laboratory containing desktop computers or laptops available to all students on every campus.
Conditional Enrolment A limitation placed on the enrolment of a student due to failure to pay fees or unsatisfactory academic performance.
Conditional Offer An offer letter may be made when an applicant has applied for a formal course of study at The University of the South Pacific, but who has not met the academic and English requirements for admission.
Counselling Service Personal counselling available to students. Students can talk about areas of difficulty, conflict or crises in their lives. The service is free and confidential. The counselling service also offers free study and life skills workshops to students. The counselling service falls under the Campus Life operations.
Core Course A course that must be completed to fulfil the requirements of a programme. This is also referred to as a compulsory course.
Course A component of a discipline and normally a semester-long that is taught by one or more academic staff, and has a fixed number of credit points. It is usually an individual subject. Full-time study at undergraduate level typically will involve registration in four courses per semester. Students will undertake a number of courses to complete the requirements of a programme. There are many variations of the length of courses and associated credit points.
Course Completion The status applied to a student academic record when they have met all the requirements of their course. A student is deemed to have completed a course if they:

meet all the compulsory requirements of a course;

satisfy the assessment requirements of the course;

meet the minimum specific requirements of a course.

Course Coordinator An academic staff member who administers and teaches a course either on his/her own or in a team. The Coordinator is also responsible for the design, delivery and quality of the courses offered as well as ensuring that student concerns pertaining to the course are adequately addressed.
Course Learning Outcomes The capabilities and competencies that students are expected to demonstrate they have developed to a required standard by the end of a course. Course learning outcomes are measured through appropriate assessments.
Course Level An indication of the level of learning required, which generally corresponds to the year of study. For example, courses at 100-level are equivalent to first year learning expectations and requirements. All undergraduate programmes require eight courses to be taken at each level.
Course Outline A summarized outline of the course provided to students at the beginning of each course they are registered in. The course outline provides course learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks for a course. It gives the weekly schedule, associated topics, reading materials and other course requirements and expectations of students. The course outline also indicates the alignment of the course learning outcomes with the USP and Programme Graduate Outcomes.
Course Pass Rate The number of students who pass a course divided by total registration in a course expressed as a percentage.

Pass grades are: A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, AEG, Comp, Pas, R and S.

Fail grades are: D, E, EX, NC, NV, U and Fail.

Note that courses where a grade has not yet been determined are not included in the pass rate calculation and are presented as Provisional results, which show either: I, IP or SE.

Course Schedule A schedule of courses approved by the University Senate providing a coherent study for an award.
Credit A value assigned for the recognition of effort and attainment of course learning outcomes in different learning experiences.
Credit Point A measure that indicates the amount of student workload in terms of notional learning hours for a course.
Credit Transfer A process for enabling a student to have a course(s) or components of a course from another programme or higher education institution recognised as equivalent in knowledge and skills to those in a USP course in their required programme of study.
Cumulative 10-year Programme Completion Rate The proportion of a group of students who commence a programme, who subsequently graduate within 10 years.
Current Student A student who is successfully enrolled in a programme and courses for the teaching session in question.
Deferment The choice of an applicant, after being offered a place at The University of the South Pacific, to delay enrolment for no longer than six semesters/trimesters. After this time students must apply for re-admission.
Disability A condition due to sickness, sensory impairment or injury that curtails a person’s ability to carry on normal pursuits. A disability may be partial or total, and temporary or permanent as verified by a doctor.
Disability Resource Centre A resource centre within Campus Life that assesses the needs of students with a disability or chronic health condition, and provides necessary support to assist the student in achieving his or her programme requirements.
Discipline An area of study, such as chemistry, economics, or history.
Discipline Coordinator An academic staff who coordinates activities among Course Coordinators to ensure the quality of the academic programmes under the discipline and to offer advice on such programmes.
Distance Education When students are based at a distance from the campus site that is pertinent to their study. This form of education may include varied modes of study such as online, blended and print. Study is conducted by mail, email and the University’s learning management system (Moodle). Periodical attendance on campus may be required.
E-Learning Learning that occurs in an online learning environment using electronic educational technologies. The online platform of e-learning at USP is Moodle, which is its learning management system.
Elective Course A course which may be chosen by a student, usually from a discipline outside the student’s major(s) or minor(s), which must be passed as part of a programme.
ELSA English Language Skills Assessment, a test of English language proficiency offered by the University. All new students of USP shall sit the ELSA test except students admitted to the following programmes:

Centre for Vocation and Continuing Education courses

Preliminary Programmes

Foundation Programmes

Postgraduate Programmes

Students who have not achieved an ELSA score of 6.0 or better shall register for and pass EL001 before they register for any 200- or 300-level course.

English Language Proficiency A measure of a student’s capability in the use of the English language. All applicants who have not completed formal studies at secondary or tertiary level in the English language must also demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a prescribed level in an approved English examination. The approved English Language tests include the English Language Skills Assessment (ELSA), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Enrolment The completion of the three processes of admission, registration and fee payment.
Equivalent Full-time Student (EFTS) A measure of the study load for a year of a student undertaking a programme of study (made up of courses) on a full-time basis.
Equivalent Course A course deemed to be equivalent in achieving outcomes of learning to another specified course.
Examination A formal supervised assessment process conducted under controlled conditions and designed to test a student’s learning.
Exchange Programme An international exchange programme based on an official agreement between two partner universities. Students are required to pay full fees to their home university, while studying at a host university and vice versa.
Exclusion A student whose enrolment and/or registration is cancelled, and is prohibited from re-enrolling. Students are excluded from study due to failure to meet progression requirements or for disciplinary reasons. The period of exclusion shall be communicated to the student by Student Administrative Services. During a period of exclusion, a student’s enrolment will be terminated and the student will not be entitled to have access to University premises, except with the written permission of the Vice-Chancellor and President.
Exit Award An official qualification at an exit point from a programme, which is lower than the intended programme. For example, a student studying a Bachelor’s degree in Information System who ended study before completing the degree, could be awarded a Diploma in Information Systems if they completed the requirements of that award. This is only applicable where a lower award is available.
Expulsion The removal of a student from the University on a permanent basis for disciplinary reasons.
External Scholarship A scholarship awarded and funded by an organisation, institution or donor outside of USP.
Fees A payment made to the University for the courses and services offered to students. This may include tuition, any other fees specified by the University.
Final Grades Final grades refer to the grade awarded on the completion of a course and is presented as letter grades.
Field-trip or Field–lab Field trips are activities by students away from their normal learning environment. The purpose is usually for observation of issue learned in class, non-experimental research or to provide students with experience outside their everyday activities. Field activities that practice and teach hands-on skills and scientific field methods are also called field-labs.
Flexi-School A course taught intensively, typically between four to six weeks normally during semester breaks. This was formerly known as summer or winter school.
Full Fee Paying Student A student who pays their full tuition and all associated fees, usually classified as a private student.
Full Time Student Full time study will involve registration in more than or equal to 0.75 for the full year per year (that is more than or equal to 75% of the standard annual full-time workload (i.e., learning hours).
Grade A letter designation of a mark range given for an assessment or formal examination for a course of study.
Grade Point A convention used to convert letter grades into numerical values for the calculation of the students’ grade point averages (GPA).
Grade Point Average (GPA) A sum of all grades achieved divided by the number of courses attempted in adherence with a Senate-approved programme.
Grading Approved indicators that describe performance required to achieve different grade levels.
Graduand A student who has completed the requirements of a course and is eligible to graduate, but has not yet had the award formally conferred.
Graduate A student who has had their award conferred.
Graduation The ceremony during which students’ awards are presented to them, and in which they officially become a graduate.
Graduate Programme A programme of study leading to an award, where entry into the programme requires students to have completed an undergraduate programme in a different discipline.
Handbook & Calendar An annual authoritative source of information published by the University, providing details of its academic year, regulations, fees, course and programme offerings, relevant committee compositions and staff listing.
In Absentia A student who graduates but does not attend their graduation ceremony.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) An internationally accredited test for students who need to demonstrate English language proficiency.
International Student A student who studies at USP and comes from outside the University member countries.
Introduction & Assessment (I&A) An introductory book about a course and its assessment requirements, mainly used in the print mode. It generally includes information that changes from semester to semester such as semester calendar, course coordinator information, study schedule, REACT tutorial sessions, assignment questions and due dates and sample test and examination papers.
Joint Scholarship A scholarship partly funded by USP and an organisation, institution or donor outside of USP.
Learning An evidence-based, demonstrably positive improvement in specified capabilities and competencies that count towards a course or programme of study.
Learning Design & Resources Fit-for-purpose learning design, learning resources, with an aligned student support system and capable staff available to deliver it.
Learning Hours The time spent by a student through directed learning activities (e.g., lectures, tutorials, tests, labs, online required activities, exams, field trips, internships etc.) and/or self-directed learning activities (study, reading, exam or test preparation, formal or informal coaching, group study, writing drafts, completing assignments, consulting with academic staff or Student Learning Specialists (SLS), research data gathering, project design etc.).
Lecture A teacher-led session normally of about one hour duration, held in a large room or lecture theatre with many students registered in a course and one lecturer.
Local/Regional Students Any student, who is a citizen of Fiji or regional member country, permanent resident, or holder of a Fiji or regional member country permanent visa or passport.
Major A defined sequence of courses in an undergraduate degree, which defines an area of focus within the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science programmes and usually consists of two majors.
Minor A supplementary discipline taken in addition to, and in support of, a single major within the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science programmes. A single major can be combined with up to two minors in a degree programme.
Mobile Learning Any learning through the use of mobile technologies.
Mode of Study The medium used in the delivery and support of a course. Possible modes of study currently used are face-to-face (F), online (O), blended (B) and print (P) and definitions are as follows:

Blended (B): A blended (hybrid) course is one that blends online and face-to-face modes of delivery. A blended course has a substantial proportion of the content (30-79%) delivered online with some face-to-face interaction between the student and the lecturer or tutor.

Face-to-face (F): A course offered with up to two hours of lectures per week and face-to-face tutorials during the semester of offer. These courses may include any specified laboratory or field work, and utilise Moodle as a learning management system

Online (O): An online course is one where 80+% is delivered online and may include some face-to-face interaction.

Print (P): A course offered in the print mode will normally have learning resources in the form of print and online materials and may include tutorials.

Moodle An acronym for ‘modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment’, the learning management system that the University uses.
Non-Award Student A student who is registered in one or more courses but is not enrolled in a programme leading to a qualification.
Non-Standard Course A course that does not conform to the semester-long structure. This includes 7 week courses, year-long project courses and industry attachment courses lasting beyond one semester.
Notional Learning Hours An estimate of the number of hours that equates to 1 credit.
Offer Letter A letter sent to a successful applicant for entry into a programme of study at the University.
Online Student Support The provision of learning support to students studying in any mode using online tools including online orientation, emails, e-mentoring, Moodle.
Open Book Examination A final examination in which students may bring into and use in the examination room specified textbooks and/or other course materials with the approval of the Head of Academic Unit. The approval of the Head of Academic Unit shall be obtained before a course that is partly assessed by an open book examination is taught.
Orientation An information session, held at the beginning of each semester that provides new students with the opportunity to meet other students in their course and staff teaching their course; find their way around the campus; learn about skills that will assist them with their studies; find out about services we offer and ask questions in a friendly environment. The University also offers online orientation to students.
Part Time Student Part time study will involve registration in less than 0.75 for the full year (that is less than 75% of the standard annual full-time workload).
Partial Scholarship A scholarship that is partly funded either by USP or an external institution or donor outside of USP.
Postgraduate Programme A programme of study leading to an award, where entry into the programme requires students to have completed an undergraduate programme in that particular discipline.
Postgraduate Specialisation A sequence of courses or research in a postgraduate qualification, which defines an area of focus within a discipline.
Prerequisite A course, which must have been satisfactorily completed, or a requirement which must have been satisfied, before a student may register in a particular, normally advance level course.
Probation A period of one semester when students are put reduced loads to enable them to improve their performance in the courses that semester. Students are put on probation as a result of unsatisfactory performance in the previous year.
Programme An arrangement of courses fitting the requirements for a University qualification such as a certificate, a diploma or a degree.
Programme Graduate Outcomes The outcomes of a programme that graduates are expected to demonstrate at or near graduation. These include discipline or profession-specific outcomes and USP Graduate Outcomes.
Programme Mapping Confirmation that all programme level outcomes are achieved in a programme through all courses that make up that programme. This is done in a systematic scaffolding of the different level courses with appropriate course level learning outcomes. This is also known as curriculum mapping.
Programme Retention The percentage of student enrolments in an academic year who were retained in the same programme the following year.
Progression A student’s movement throughout a programme from admission to graduation, satisfying at least the minimum course requirements at each stage.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) A process used to evaluate learning outcomes achieved that cannot be wholly attributed to formal courses of study successfully completed outside of the programme. Such learning can arise from life experience, formal or informal work experience, and/or formal and informal education or training that may or may not have been assessed.
Registration The process of selecting course(s) and subsequent approval of the selected course(s).
Research Degree Degrees where students work under expert supervision, on discipline-based topics, becoming an expert in their area of interest. Research degrees include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Masters by Thesis degrees.
Restricted Pass A pass granted to a student who has marginally failed the final course required to complete their programme.
Results The final performance outcomes of students in a course and is a combination of their performance in continuous assessments and final examination.
Retention Rate A measure of the University’s ability to retain students beyond a year. The proportion of students in year X, who either completed or returned in year (X+1).
School An academic unit that undertakes teaching, research and outreach activities in particular areas.
Semester The normal duration for which a course is offered and 18 weeks long.
Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) This is a sum of all grade points achieved in a particular semester divided by the number of courses attempted in that semester. The results for 30-week courses shall be included in a SGPA calculation for Semester II only.
Service Course Courses taken during the undergraduate programme by students in a discipline (major), which are outside the discipline area but complement their major and is compulsory.
Special Consideration Consideration given to students when they experience serious misadventure, accident or extenuating circumstances beyond their control, which affect their academic performance. Applying for and receiving special consideration means that those circumstances will be taken into account when their grade is determined.
Specialisation Areas of study that students can select to make up part of their formal programme structure. Students choose specialisation by selecting major(s) and/or minor.
Staircase Step-wise progression from a lower qualification to a higher qualification in the same discipline. The progression involves increased complexity in the qualification among a common core standard, for example moving from a certificate to a diploma to a degree. In practice this means a person may first start at the Certificate level by completing six courses. If he/she wishes to complete the Diploma then completes another six courses. And if he/she wants to do a Bachelor’s Degree, he/she would only need to complete the remaining twelve courses to graduate with a Degree.
Student Bursary Scheme A University scheme, which provides financial assistance for the payment of tuition fees for eligible full fee paying underprivileged students.
Study Abroad Students Students who study with an overseas provider when there is no formal exchange agreement.
Suspension The barring of a student from attendance at the University for a specified period of time for disciplinary or academic non-performance reasons. During a period of suspension, a student’s enrolment and/or registration will be terminated and the student will not be entitled to have access to University premises or facilities, except with the written permission of the Vice-Chancellor and President. A student who is suspended from the University shall not be granted Advanced Standing for courses completed at another University during the period of suspension.
Termination The cancellation by the University of a student’s enrolment in a course, usually due to failure to meet administrative requirements.
Testamur The certificate presented to a graduate at graduation, indicating the award received.
Timetable A list of where and when classes are scheduled.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) A test of English language proficiency.
Transcript The formal written record of results achieved in all registered courses in a programme.
Trimester A period of study offered three times a year that is shorter than a semester, usually 10 weeks long. For e.g. the Graduate School of Business conducts its programme of study on a trimester basis.
Tuition Fees Course fees paid by full fee paying students for each course in which they are registered.
Tutorial An interactive teaching technique in which a small group of students (e.g. 20-25 students) interact, usually once or twice a week, with an academic or academic support staff for directed learning.
Unclassified Foundation Studies Persons who fail to meet the Bachelor’s degree admission requirements but fulfil the Unclassified Studies requirements.
Unclassified Studies A student may apply to the University to take courses under Unclassified Studies that do not lead to the award of a certificate, diploma or degree. Qualifying courses taken under unclassified studies as a pre-requisite to a particular programme will not be credited towards a qualification.
Undergraduate Programme A programme of study leading to an award that does not require students to have already completed a degree course prior to admission.
University Course A compulsory interdisciplinary course for all degree programmes. Most USP courses are offered by specific disciplines, but University courses (coded UU) range across several disciplines.
University Retention The percentage of student enrolments in an academic year that were retained in the same or different programme the following year.
Unspecified Credits Credits awarded for non-specific courses that can be used as general elective/optional credit points at the appropriate level within the USP programme.
USP Alumni Graduates of The University of the South Pacific.
USP Graduate Attributes The qualities, skills and understandings that USP agrees that its students should develop during their time at the institution.
USP scholarship A scholarship funded by USP and awarded by the University Scholarship Committee.
USP Graduate Outcomes Generic outcomes that USP graduates are expected to demonstrate at or near graduation. These outcomes are measurable forms derived from USP Graduate Attributes. These include: Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning, Ethics, Pacific Consciousness, Professionalism and Teamwork.
Withdrawal Formally withdrawing enrolment in a course. There are different procedures and penalties for withdrawing before and after census date.
Working Day Where University documents refer to timelines specified in ‘working days’, these are taken to mean weekdays, Monday to Friday within normal business hours and excludes public holidays.
BA Bachelor of Arts
BCom Bachelor of Commerce
BE Bachelor of Engineering
BEd Bachelor of Education
BNS Bachelor of Networks & Security
BSc Bachelor of Science
BSE Bachelor of Software Engineering
CAH College of Arts & Humanities
CBA Competency Based Assessment
CBTH College of Business, Tourism & Hospitality
CFL Centre for Flexible Learning
CSTE College of Science, Technology & Environment
FL Flexible learning
ELSA English Language Skills Assessment
FNA Foundation Arts
FNBS Foundation Business
FNSN Foundation Science
FYE First Year Experience
GPA Grade Point Average
LLB Bachelor of Laws
LLM Master of Laws
MA Master of Arts
MAgr Master of Agriculture
MBA Master of Business Administration
MCom Master of Commerce
MEd Master of Education
MEL Master of Environmental Law
MOODLE Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment
MSc Master of Science
OMDT Online Mathematics Diagnostic Tool
PA Preliminary Arts
PaCE-SD Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development
Pacific TAFE Pacific Technical & Further Education
PBS Preliminary Business
PDLP Professional Diploma in Legal Practice
PGC Postgraduate Certificate
PGCTT Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching
PGD Postgraduate Diploma
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
PSN Preliminary Science
RPL Recognition of Prior Learning
SAS Student Administrative Services
SAFE School of Accounting, Finance and Economics
SAGEONS School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Oceans, and Natural Sciences
SBM School of Business and Management
SoLaSS School of Law and Social Sciences
SOLS Student Online Services
SPACE School of Pacific Arts, Communication, and Education
STEMP School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics
USP The University of the South Pacific
USPSA The University of the South Pacific Students’ Association
WDTU Workforce Development Training Unit
USP Chat Service
Lets start: