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Ha'amonga Awards

The end of the month of March also marked yet another milestone for the Tonga Campus.

The Ha’amonga Awards initiative is part of an ongoing project by the Campus Academic Committee which involves the monitoring and tracking of student performance and progress. Since its inception the awardees’ number has increased from twenty nine (29) students to 2018- sixty (60) students.

The ceremony was a celebration of the achievements of sixty students (60) from the Pacific Tafe, and the three faculties with high Grade Point Averages (GPA) in Semester 1 and 2 of the 2018 academic calendar. The average grade achieved by the awardees was between 3.5 – 4.5 points within four (4) categories.

The event took place with Dr. Mo’ale Otunuku [Fellow: Institute of Education (IoE)] as guest of honor who encouraged students to continue to[M1]  achieve high grades as it would also aid in finding future opportunities. Also present were parents, guardians and members of the Tonga Campus staff. In a moving gesture on behalf of her fellow awardees, Miss Merry Ann Fonua thanked all parents, guardians and teachers for their ongoing support and care. “Without your continuous support and patience we wouldn’t have achieved highly”, Miss Fonua said.

The Campus Academic Committee on behalf of the Campus Director, Dr. Seu’ula Johansson- Fua, is proud to have awarded the high achievers and continues to support students in their academic strives. It is the hope that the number of high achievers will continue to escalate for the upcoming semesters.

The event ended on a high note with a group photograph alongside Dr. Otunuku, parents and staff present. As distinct and withstanding as the Ha’amonga sacred stones, the high achievers were encouraged to pursue their studies with resilience and steadfast belief that nothing is impossible even when the obstacles are so high. Until the next Ha’amonga Awards – The Campus Community congratulates all of its 2018 High GPA Achievers


Inspirational Educational Journeys: Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo Series

The Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo Series is a new initiative organized at the USP Tonga Campus. The genre involves motivational talks by selected guest speakers from Alumni and Phd scholars who are in recognized positions in government or other sectors in Tonga.

The main purpose of this incentive is linked to the USP Tonga Campus’ Priority Students (At risk) campaign. The intention is to gather all students enrolled at Tonga campus to listen and be inspired and motivated to study harder and pursue beyond their first degrees. Essentially, when students are inspired and motivated they become influential and positive members of Tongan society and their communities today and in the future.

‘Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo”- its meaning.

The phrase ‘Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo’ has enjoyed popularity in the last few years as an almost flippant come-back to any comment on anything, both here in Tonga and also in the wider Tongan community overseas. 

Literally translated as ‘Good (for us) to Know’, its usage has transcended many barriers and lightened many situations in daily living in Tonga.  Like many such phrases that have caught on over the years, the words can be taken any which way the user and the audience perceives, most often with hilarity. 

‘Sai ke tau ‘ilo has been selected as the name for this series of motivational talks to help students on their journey because it is good for them to know.  The voice of experience is a powerful one but it is a voice that young people often choose to ignore so we hope that these talks will be better-received as students listen to your stories.  Students need to hear the stories, they need to hear of both your victories and your struggles, and they need to know their journey parallels many others before them.  And they need to know they are not alone and that there is always a way.  ‘Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo’ can then take on another meaning, because it really is good to know! (Mrs. ‘Ana. H Veikune-Assistant Lecturer: SLAM)

The first series took place earlier this month, on the 3rd of April, with Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi (Phd), also Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Fisheries, Tonga. Dr. Halafihi drew the audience including staff and students alike to an exceptionally motivating and inspiring presentation. The theme of his presentation ignited the thoughts that one must “Never Give Up”. Students were encouraged to overcome the challenges they may face in their educational journeys and to not lose hope. Also, deliberated in his presentation were interesting findings from his Phd thesis which was based on Ecology and biology of Etelis coruscans and Pristipomoides filamentosus: Case Study on the Tonga Deep-water Bottomfish Fishery.

Students were motivated by his educational journey and took with them wonderful lessons such as to remain focused on one’s goal and to aspire to succeed. Dr. Halafihi also inspired the students of ‘Olokava that with God’s guidance and direction obstacles can easily be overcome.  He also acknowledged his education at the University and later a part-time tutor as pivotal to his educational and career achievements.

The Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo first series has set a firm platform and with the knowledge ingrained in students present that they really need to know, so that they could be successful in their academic journeys.

The USP Tonga Campus community, with gratitude, acknowledged the wonderful messages shared by Dr. Halafihi and continue to be inspired.

The Sai Ke Tau ‘Ilo series shall continue – keep watching this space and advertisements on campus.

Cornell University Team Visit

Date: 2nd of April, 2019

Venue: USP-Tonga Campus- Lopa 1

Purpose of the trip:

A group of post graduate and under graduate students (10 in total) from the Department of Urban Planning, Cornell University in New York City, United States of America, led by Dr. Gerard Finn visited Tonga from March 31st to April 7th. On Tuesday 2nd of April, they visited USP-Tonga Campus where they met staff and students then conducted a ‘Talatalanoa’ session with students based on Climate Change, in which a topic of focus and interest in their trip. The day ended with a meeting between Dr. Cornell and staff of Tonga Campus, chaired by the Campus’ Academic Committee- Mrs. Ana Heti Veikune. The discussions focused in building a collaboration between the two universities in particular the Tonga Campus.

10 students from USP-Tonga Campus hosted the 10 students from Cornell University on a one night homestay.


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Page updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
USP Tonga Campus
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