Development in Cook Islands -  USP Cook Islands Campus

What is USP Cook Islands (USPCI) currently doing for development in Cook Islands?

ICT Development USPCI has a cohort of 7 Masters in Information Systems students who will complete their Masters degrees in 2014. One member of the cohort has recently been awarded  the Asia Pacific Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Award for 2014.

Economic Policy in 2014, 6 students will complete the Post Graduate Diploma in Economics, as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Finance.

Project Management USPCI is currently completing a 4th cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Project Management in conjunction with AUT University, which should bring the total of qualified Cook Islands project managers to 70.

Business Administration USPCI is currently completing the third cohort of MBA students taking the total number of USP Cook Islands MBAs to 80

Masters in Science in Sustainable Development for Small Islands States - USPCI is exploring the possibility of recruiting a cohort of 15 graduates to take the Masters in Science in Sustainable Development for Small Islands States program to develop local research capacity and critical thinking in development planning.

Outer Islands development

Around 40% of current enrolment is in outer islands with students in 8 of the 10 inhabited islands.

Outer islands centres  - the Mangaia Centre was opened last year and has 4 computers, scanner printer, wireless hot spot and 24 hour access to internet. This is the model for all future outer island USP centres. Atiu and Manihiki have established  a USP study centre in their schools. USPCI is in the process of equipping the Atiu centre, with Manihiki and Aitutaki to follow. By the end of this year all remaining islands will have a Telecom hotspot to allow students to receive course materials and submit assignments and obtain tutorial assistance online.

Outer islands planning and project management a proposal exists to deliver a Strategic Planning course, plus the Certificate in Project Management to all Island mayors and EOs and a Certificate in Community Development course for Councils and NGOs in all islands. This is dependent on joint funding with Cook Islands Government.

Strengthening capacity in local government in line with the Pa Enua Act in particular, strengthening planning, project management, accounting, and management skills in Islands Administrations, via the degree level Certificate in Accounting and the Certificate in Management.

Climate Change

Vaine Wichman is In-Country Co-ordinator for the USP EU Climate Change programme. Her focus has been on working with communities on climate change awareness, with a mitigation project planned for Penrhyn. She is also working with women's groups to organize a country wide survey on traditional knowledge of climate change as part of a small subcontract from SPREP for the FINPAC (Finnish Pacific Project) project.


USPCI is working to increase the number of in-country researchers currently 11 USP graduates are completing an M.Phil towards PhD as part of a joint initiative between USP and AUT University to develop Cook Islands critical thinking.

Professor John Hay is currently Adjunct Professor at USPCI. We are in the process of recruiting additional adjuncts to supervise PhD students in-country.


17 of a cohort of 28 have completed the Masters in Education, the majority from outer islands schools.

100 teachers are undergoing professional development towards Primary, ECE or Secondary Education degrees across all 10 islands.

A professional Masters in Education is proposed for delivery in late 2014 in response to requests from the Ministry of Education.

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