Emalus Campus

Emalus Campus

USP Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary Celebrations at Emalus Campus

Official Launch

Official Launch

The Minister for Education and Training, Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua officially opened The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) 50th Anniversary celebrations in Vanuatu on Monday, 23rd July 2018.  The event was witnessed by officials of the Ministry of Education and other government organizations, representatives of the diplomatic corps, USP staff and students as well as members of the alumni.

The opening included speeches from alumni, including President of the USP Alumni Association, Joe Natuman, as well as Kathleen Rarua, who was the first Vanuatu USP graduate. Ms. Rarua said, “USP nurtured me. USP set the foundation for me. Through USP many Vanuatu women were trained to take up key leadership roles”.

Also noteworthy was a presentation of a book on customs of Vanuatu. The book was compiled by the law Emeritus Professor Donald Patterson via interviews with numerous ni-Vanuatu residents, mainly connected with USP, representing the many islands of Vanuatu. The book was presented to the Minister as token of appreciation to the government and people of Vanuatu for being very good hosts to the university since 1980. Performances from the Nakaruai Cultural Group from the Vanuatu island of Futuna as well as from several student associations alternated with the speeches, and the event ended with a special cake and luncheon for guests, staff, and students.

Pictures of the event

Minister of Education Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua arrives
Nakaruai Cultural Group escorts Minister Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua to his seat
Minister Hon. Jean-Pierre Nirua and Campus Director Ruben Markward
Campus Director Markward welcomes guests to Official Launch of 50th
Performance by Nakaruai Cultural Group from Futuna island of Vanuatu
Ms. Kathleen Rarua, (1972) first female graduate, speaks
Minister Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua speaks
Mr. Joe Natuman, USP Alumni Association President, speaks
Ms. Ketty Napwatt, Ms. Carol Aru and Dr. Hannah Bongiri of CFL
Staff from Finance, CFL, SAS, and PacLII
USP Alumni
USP staff
USP students
Students and staff
Professor Don Paterson and ITS staff Darryl Joel
Solomon Islands students waiting to perform
Solomon Islands bamboo band
Fijian students waiting to perform
Unveiling of the USP Golden Jubilee plaque
Mr. Markward, Mr. Natuman, Dr. Chella, Ms. Rarua, and Minister Nirua
USP Golden Jubilee plaque
Presentation of Vanuatu customs book by Professor Paterson, editors, and contributors
Cutting of the Golden Jubilee cake by staff, students and alumni
Tongan dancers
Kiribati dancers

Ol bigfala toktok

Ol bigfala toktok

Celebrating 50 years of USP required lots of talking: meetings with staff, meetings with advisory committees, alumni, and a mix of all these groups. This was followed by the need to share the stories of the past and the plans for the future with interviews both recorded and broadcasted. The pictures below look like people doing lots of talking, but in truth, depict the continually growing relationship between USP and the community of Vanuatu.  

Planning, meetings, and interviews

Preliminary planning meeting with staff, alumni, and advisory board representatives
Alumni Mrs. Mildred Sope (1974) and Mr. Barak Sope (1973) during interview
USP Alumni Association President Joe Natuman (1978) and interviewer Moana Harvey
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Ralph Regenvanu (2011) during interview
USP Alumni Association meeting
Alumni group photo with Minister of Education Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua (1984, 2002)
Library staff, Dr. Reysa Alenzuela and George Wilbur, at Talkback Show at VBTC
Ketty Napwatt and Dr. Amton Mwaraksurmes at Talkback Show at VBTC

Open Day

Open Day

Open Day on 10 August 2018 continued the annual tradition of welcoming all, including the Port Vila community and potential future students, to enjoy the unique culture of Emalus campus. This annual event provided another opportunity to celebrate the Golden Jubilee anniversary of USP. A parade of staff and students, led by the Vanuatu Military Forces band, walked through downtown Port Vila and filed into the center quadrangle of campus to join the audience of community, guests, and future classmates from local secondary schools and colleges. An opening prayer followed by speeches from Campus Manager Ruben Markward and Ministry of Education Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua officially marked the beginning of the campus activities. Contests, display booths, special tours, photo frames, and food stalls entertained visitors until late afternoon when the talented student associations from all across the Pacific and the different provinces of Vanuatu showcased their performance skills and wowed the crowd with tradition and pride. Below, please enjoy some moments from a successful and happy day.

Vanuatu float and Solomon Islands students
Floats waiting for parade to begin
Micronesian Law Student Association float
Fijian Law Student Association
USP staff and family
Confucius Institute float
Tuvalu float
Confucius Institute float
Tonga float
Students from Tafea province of Vanuatu
Students from Shefa province of Vanuatu
Students from Penama province of Vanuatu
USP staff
Kiribati float
Vanuatu Student Association float
Parade marches through Port Vila
Vanuatu students marching
Vanuatu float
Tafea students of Vanuatu
PacLII staff marches by Port Vila Market
Vanuatu Military Parade leads the parade
Student volunteers along the parade route
Parade arrives at Emalus campus
Parade arrives at Emalus campus
Parade arrives at Emalus campus
Kiribati Law Student Association arrives
Waiting to enter the quad at campus center
Waiting to enter the quad at campus center
Waiting to enter the quad at campus center
View of the quad filling up with parading students
Prospective students from Tebakor College
Staff in front of SAS office
Students from Federated States of Micronesia
Volunteer campus tour guides
Students and prospective students in the quad
Minister of Education Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua
Campus Director Ruben Markward
Moveable photo "booth" in front of Emalus library

USP Emalus campus wishes to thank our community sponsors for Open Day prizes and staff support:


1.    Copy express

2.    Drug store

3.    Uncle Bills

4.    Digicel

5.    TVL

6.    Cello Vila

7.    Mok Store

8.    Bank of South Pacific

9.    Don Taileur

10.  Leon Hardware

11.  Wilco

12.  Vanuatu Agricultural Supply

13.  Loli construction

14.  Asco Motors

15.  Titanium


School Participants:

1.   Malapoa College

2.   Neal Thomas Christian University

3.   Epauto Secondary School

4.   Port Vila international School

5.   Tebakor School

Vanuatu and USP

Vanuatu and USP

 (downloadable PDF version)



Vanuatu’s association with the University of the South Pacific actually began 12 years prior to independence. It was in 1968 when the then Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides, through the British Education Office, joined 11 other independent Pacific countries and dependent territories to establish The University of the South Pacific, with its main campus at Laucala Bay in Suva, Fiji.  In March 1970, Queen Elizabeth II presented a Royal Charter to the first Chancellor, Masiofo Fetauimalemau Mata’afa of Samoa, formally establishing The University of the South Pacific. 



The USP officially established in Fiji at the previously occupied site of the 5 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force, now known as Laucala Campus. Classes begun in February.



USPs first graduation held at Laucala Campus in December with 49 graduates.



The first ni-Vanuatu female, Kathleen Rarua graduated with a Diploma in Education. 



The two first ni-Vanuatu males graduated. They were late Tamata Ravo who graduated with a Diploma in Education and Barak Sope graduated with a BA.



The first ni-Vanuatu female to graduate with a BA. She was the late Grace Delight Merakali Molisa.



In late 1979 the agreement to establish USP in Vanuatu was signed between USP officials and the then Chief Minister Gerard Leymang.



In March 1980 the University established a Centre in Port Vila. First Director, Dr. Howard Van Trease arrived. The Centre was initially located within the Ministry of Social Affairs, Lolam House in town.



With the approval of the Vanuatu government, the Centre moved to the Independence Park, occupying what had been the British Education Office during the period of the Condominium. The Center was connected by satellite communications system using the ATS-1 satellite initially. First ever summer school to be organized anywhere at USP was held at the Center.  Two French speaking Ni-Vanuatu who had completed their Baccalaureates at the Lycee LAB; Jean-Pierre Nirua (now Hon Minister for Education and Training) and the late Jean Sese begun to study by distance and were later awarded scholarships to study at Laucala campus. The second center was established in Luganville, Santo.



The Pacific Languages Unit was established as part of Institute of Pacific Studies at the Vanuatu Centre. Dr. Terry Crowley as the founding Director of the Pacific Languages Unit arrived in 1984.



Decision was made to establish the Pacific Law Unit at the Vanuatu Center.



 The University established a separate Law programme at sub-degree level; Certificate and Diploma in Legal Studies. This was provided by the Pacific Law Unit which was established at the Vanuatu Centre. In April 1985 the founding Director, Professor Donald Paterson arrived. The Vanuatu Government leased 6 hectares of land to USP for the Vanuatu Centre, and buildings were constructed to house the Centre and the two Units; Pacific Law Unit and Pacific Law Unit.



The USP Complex was opened and the Center and the Pacific Languages Unit and the Pacific Law Unit moved to these new facilities.  The first librarian recruited. His Excellency late Frederick Karlomuana Timakata became the first Vanuatu President to serve as Chancellor from 1989-1992. The first graduation was held at the USP Complex.                                                                                                                                                                                      



First full time Foundation Social Science program offered at Emalus. This involved 21 Anglophone students.



Regional Conference proposed an appropriate curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in law. Construction of first science laboratory completed at Emalus.



First full time Foundation Science program offered at Emalus. This involved 19 Anglophone students. USP celebrated its silver anniversary with the theme: ‘25 years of Learning and Serving Together’.



The University established a School of Law with Professor Derek Finlay as Foundation Professor. The first two and a half years of this programme were taught on Laucala Campus, Fiji, pending the construction of expanded facilities on Emalus Campus.



Because of the establishment of the Law School, the Vanuatu Complex was upgraded to become the Emalus Campus. Construction of additional physical facilities such as halls of residences, dining hall, new library and classrooms for the School of Law continued at Emalus Campus.




The School of Law transferred its teaching staff and students from Laucala Campus to Emalus Campus in semester 1. First group of 60 law students arrived. Law classes begun on the 25th of March. Official inauguration of Emalus Campus by the then Vanuatu President Jean Marie Leye Lenelcau. The Santo center was expanded.



Centre opened at Isangel on Tanna.



The Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII) building was officially opened at Emalus Campus. The Second Chance Francophone programme was launched, enabling teaching in French at Emalus.



The position of Tutor CFS/CELT (Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching) was changed to Student Learning Support Specialist (SLS).



First academic in Economics (Assistant Lecturer) appointed to Emalus Campus.



Work begun for the expansion of the Emalus campus to accommodate more French program delivery, expanding the floor space by 1/3. Expansion to Malampa occurred in 2012 with a center opening at Norsup. First ni-Vanuatu academic in Education (Lecturer) appointed to Emalus.



Translation of Education courses from English into French began. New Chinese funded facilities at Emalus inaugurated on 4th December.



Appointment of French Program Coordinator. USP opened new Centre in Sola, Torba province on 16th October.



His Excellency late Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale became the second Vanuatu President to serve as Chancellor from 2015-2016. First academic in Chemistry (Lecturer) was appointed to Emalus. Face to face teaching in Chemistry begun. In May 2015 the Confucius Classroom at Emalus campus opened in response to growing demand for Chinese language training and culture instruction. In August, the Untrained Teachers Project was launched, enabling both Anglophone and Francophone students to enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Education (GCED). With translation of courses into French, the Francophone students pursued the program in French (Certificat post-Licence en Sciences de l’éducation) with face to face support. Both cohorts graduated in 2017. 



First ni-Vanuatu academic in Management (Teaching Assistant) appointed to Emalus. First academic in Physics (Teaching Assistant) appointed to Emalus.



The University deployed a fiber optic cable from the Emalus Campus to the Joint Court area in August 2016. This enabled a connection from the Campus to the Vanuatu e-Government Fiber network, improving bandwidth capacity from 7Mbps to 50 Mbps. USP was actually connected and started using government subsidized bandwidth in December 2017. Completed renovation of a building as Science Laboratory at the Santo Centre to enable expansion of science courses to outer Islands. First graduation for a program taught in French (Certificat post-Licence en Sciences de l’éducation).



USP celebrates its 50th anniversary with the theme: ‘Celebrating the Pacific, Shaping its Future’. Pacific TAFE offers the following programs for the first time face to face at Emalus: Certificate and Diploma in Information Technology, Certificate and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, Certificate IV in Accounting, Certificate and Diploma in Human Resource Management, Diploma in Counseling and Certificate in Office Management. A wet laboratory is completed, bringing the total number of laboratories at Emalus to 3.






More Events

More Events

USP Emalus Campus continues marking the University's 50th anniversary with events celebrating the achievements of alumni as well as inviting the community to imagine the future of Vanuatu as the number of tertiary graduates increases in the coming years.

Passport No.1

Mr Jeosaphat Melai La’au, second from left
(left – right) Moderator and Campus Manager Mr Ruben Markward; Mr Paul Nalau, Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination; Mr Harold Bill, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu; Ms Yvonne Taiki, Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Mr Mike Masauvakalo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade
Panel in session
Audience of Spotlight Forum

Passport No.1 is an autobiography written by Mr Jeosaphat Melai La’au about his life.  A book launch was held at the USP Emalus Campus by Pastor Randel Prior who assisted Mr La’au with the book on Friday, 27th of April, 2018.

At the time of Independence in 1980 Mr Jeosaphat La’au was working in the office of the Prime Minister when Vanuatu created its first passport.  He was scheduled to go to a conference in Sydney in August of 1980, and he was given a Vanuatu passport which had on it No.1, hence the title of his book, Passport No.1. The photo on the cover of the book is Jeosaphat holding Passport No.1 in 1980. Mr Jeosaphat La’au successfully completed studies in law at the University of the South Pacific where he graduated with a degree in law in 2010.

A representative of the USP Alumni Association, Ms Joys Kensen, encouraged all USP graduates to join the Alumni Association so that the association can grow and can assist its members in return.


Spotlight Forum

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus hosted the Spotlight Forum, on Friday 31st of August, 2018.

The theme of the forum, “Impact of Higher Education: Focusing on USP and Capacity Building for Vanuatu,” was designed to highlight the USP’s impact on the country’s development over the last 50 years since its establishment in 1968. 

The panel of speakers included Moderator and Campus Manager Mr Ruben Markward; Mr Paul Nalau, Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination; Mr Harold Bill, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu; Ms Yvonne Taiki, Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Mr Mike Masauvakalo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.



USP 50th Anniversary Photo Exhibition at Espace Alliance Française

As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations this year, Emalus Campus created a photo exhibition showcasing the key moments of its development in Vanuatu and the vibrant life of the campus today. Espace Alliance Française, in the centre of Port Vila, hosted the exhibition from the 5th to the 18th of October and was free to the public.

The New Hebrides Condominium, as Vanuatu was known 50 years ago, was associated with USP since its beginnings in 1968 and started sending students to Laucala Campus in Fiji as early as 1969. The first ni-Vanuatu alumna graduated in 1971. Just after Vanuatu’s independence in 1980, the university established a small office in Port Vila, at Lolam House, and moved to Independence Park a year later. The Pacific Languages Unit was created in 1983 and the Pacific Law Unit in 1985. USP’s operations moved to the current location of Emalus Campus in 1989 and in 1996, the School of Law was transferred here from Fiji.

Today, Emalus Campus attract students and staff from 24 different countries and offers a broad range of programmes, from Certificate level to Master’s and PhD, in a wide array of subjects. More and more programmes are becoming available face-to-face, on top of the well established offering of distance education through online studies and tutorial support. Apart from Emalus Campus, USP has four other centres in Vanuatu, on Tanna, Santo, Malekula and Vanua Lava.

The exhibition included a video of the inaugural ceremony of Emalus campus in 1996, books on sale, quizzes with prizes, a map developed by the Pacific Languages Unit of the placement of over 100 languages of Vanuatu by island, a photo booth for guests, and a ledger for guests to sign in and share their thoughts.

A closing ceremony was held on the final night of the exhibition, Thursday, 18 October, that included music and speeches from alumni and heads of faculty.

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Page updated: Saturday, October 27, 2018
USP Emalus Campus
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Port Vila, Vanuatu
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