Remarks by Prof. Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President -  Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Remarks by Prof. Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President

1. Greetings and acknowledgement

The President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
The Chief Guest, USP Chancellor, Ulu-o-Tokelau, His Excellency Aliki Faipule Kerisiano Kalolo
Honourable Ministers
Pro-Chancellor & Chair of Council, Mr Ikbal Jannif
Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Chair of Finance and Investments Committee, Ms Fay Yee
Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, Mr. Iowane Naiveli
Heads and Representatives of CROP and International Organizations
Senior Government Officials & Heads of Statutory Organizations
Members of the Council, Senate & FIC
Members of SMT & Staff of the University
Distinguished Guests
Student Leaders
Ladies and Gentlemen

2. Welcome

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this evening’s event to mark the launch of USP Strategic Plan 2013-2018.  Thank you very much Chancellor for agreeing to do the honours this evening.  Travelling from Tokelau to Suva is not easy and I know that as Head of Government, you had other commitments that you adjusted to do the honours this evening. We are deeply honoured by your presence.      

I wish to also extend a special welcome to our President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Vinaka Vakalevu. Thank you very much to all of our other guests and friends here this evening.  Many of you have provided valuable input to the Strategic Planning process, and have good reason to celebrate the final document.  

3. Very promising start to the 2013 Academic Year

As you will no doubt know, we started teaching last week. The University is once again buzzing with activities, and it is very pleasing to see so many bright young students here and at the other 13 campuses of this regional university.

Earlier this year, we had the launch of our partnership with Australia and New Zealand. The NZ/USP partnership has provided a modest increase over the last partnership for which we are grateful. Australia has nearly doubled its assistance to USP this year, and we have been assured that a five year partnership taking in the period of the strategic plan will be concluded this year. We are very grateful for this. These partnerships have provided significant financial stability to the University.

We have been given approval for the construction of additional student accommodation and in-principle approval for the construction of our campus in Lautoka. The Government of Solomon Islands has given the University 100 hectares of land for the construction of a new campus, and everything is proceeding well for the construction this year of a new campus in Kiribati.

Perhaps the most encouraging development has been strong enrolment growth this year. While we need more time to get reliable numbers, given the preliminary numbers, we expect enrolment to grow by more than 10 per cent this year, a remarkable achievement in a highly competitive environment.

We are, therefore, very confident of a very successful year ahead of us.

4. Strategic Plan 2013-2018

We are gathered this evening for the launch of the new Strategic Plan. While the Chief Guest and Chancellor will speak at length about the Plan and launch it, I wish to make a few remarks about Strategic Plan 2013-2018:

5. Conclusion 

In conclusion, welcome once again.  Thank you for your contribution to the development of and support for the vision of Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and USP as an institution of excellence by its 50th anniversary in 2018.  

Thank you, Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyabaad 

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