USP - An Introduction -  The University of the South Pacific (USP)

About the University

USP - An Introduction

The University of the South Pacific is the premier institution of higher learning for the Pacific region, uniquely placed in a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity.

Established in 1968, USP is one of only two universities of its type in the world. It is jointly owned by the governments of 12 member countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa. The University has campuses in all member countries. The main campus, Laucala, is in Fiji. The Alafua Campus in Samoa is where the School of Agriculture and Food Technology is situated, and the Emalus Campus in Vanuatu is the location for the School of Law.

The academic units are organized into schools, colleges and centres. These include the School of Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE); School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS); School of Business and Management (SBM); School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP); School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS); School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE); and Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE). They offer a wide range of academic programmes and courses at the pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  In addition, Climate Change-related postgraduate programmes are offered by the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD).

The University also offers programmes through distance and flexible learning in a variety of modes and technologies throughout USP's 14 campuses.

Advanced communication technologies through USPNet are used to reach distance and flexible learning students across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean.

The multi-cultural nature of the staff and student body give USP an exceptional character. It is a quality institution producing degrees comparable to those awarded by universities in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Graduates from USP are found in important executive positions throughout the public and private sectors in all member countries and in numerous countries around the world.

The University has set a high standard for quality in its research. Major research commitments include business management, teacher education, Pacific studies, marine studies, agriculture, science and technology.

The University Region

The University of the South Pacific region spreads across 33 million square kilometres of ocean, an area more than three times the size of Europe. In contrast, the total land mass is about equal to the area of Denmark. Populations vary in size from Tokelau with 1600 people to Fiji with more than 800,000. The total population is about 1.3 million.

International airlines flying routes between Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States link a number of the island countries. There are also airlines which service the region. Within countries, inter-island shipping is used to reach smaller islands without air services.

Because of its strategic position and facilities, USP attracts eminent scholars and staff from all over the world.

University Administration

USP is governed by its own Council, which includes representatives of the member country governments, academic staff, students, community and business leaders, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the American Council of Education, the Privy Council, Australia and New Zealand.

The Senate is the academic authority of the University, responsible for matters such as teaching and research.

The Council and the Senate are served by committees working in such areas as Finance, Human Resource Management and Academic Planning. Other committees deal with special projects and the day-to-day work of the University.

The ceremonial head of the University is the Chancellor. USP's Chancellors have been drawn from the leaders of the University's member governments and include Prime Ministers, Presidents and Heads of State. The Pro Chancellor is Chair of Council and the executive head of the University is the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor is assisted by two Deputy Vice-Chancellors and two Vice-Presidents.

The Senior Management Team is responsible for the welfare of the University community. The Executive Director of Finance is concerned with control of University finances. The Director Human Resources manages the University's human resources.

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