Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Welcome address by the Minister for Education, Hon Charmaine Scotty at the Opening of the USP Nauru Campus Monday 21st May 2018

  • His Excellency David Adeang, Acting President of Nauru
  • Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Cyril Buramen and his good lady
  • Chief Justice His Honour Filimoni Jitoko
  • Honourable Shadlog Bernicke, Minister for NPRT and his good lady.
  • Visiting Honourable Ministers from around the region
  • Members of Parliament
  • Ambassador of the Republic of China to Nauru - His Excellency Joseph Chin-Fa Chow.
  • Her Excellency Angela Tierney, Australian High Commissioner
  • Diplomats and delegates from around the region
  • Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific, Mr Winston Thompson and your good lady
  • Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra
  • Council members and invited guests
  • Students, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Omo Yoran

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all on this beautiful sunny morning to witness the official Opening of the University of the South Pacific, Nauru Campus and the Community Library. Today heralds the beginning of a very special time for the education landscape in Nauru; we will be participating in and witnessing a number of key events which are immensely significant for the Government and the people of Nauru as she continues to celebrate her 50th year of independence. The Government is honoured to welcome all our distinguished visitors to Nauru. Nauru proudly hosts the 86th USP Council Meeting which begins tomorrow and ends on Wednesday; the Forum Education Ministers Meeting on Thursday and then the first ever USP graduation on Nauru soil on Friday. Coincidentally, Nauru became independent in 1968, the same year the University of the South Pacific was founded, so they both celebrate their golden jubilee this year. The realisation of the USP Nauru Centre building is indeed a gift worthy of a “GOLDEN” Jubilee

Today has its own significance as we mark the opening of the USP building, which is in itself an outstanding achievement borne of goodwill, cooperation, and a lot of hard work amongst partners and neighbours.

This project is one of the long-term objectives under Education sector stated in the National Sustainable Development Strategy when it was first published in 2005 - to ‘build a Learning Village where high school and tertiary education providing institutes share the same land area for sharing of resources and networking’.

In 2006, the government developed the concept of a Learning Village that integrates the facilities of the Nauru Secondary School, a Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) facility, the University of the South Pacific (USP) Nauru campus and a Public/National library on the same site, within the same “Village” area.

We hope to achieve efficiency in cost effective allocation and sharing of its capital resources by integrating these facilities in the Learning Village to become the learning “hub” for all of Nauru.

In 2007, government identified a site for the Learning Village and developed a Master Plan for Phase 1 of the Learning Village, which was partially completed in 2010 with the completion of the NSS building. The final component of Phase 1 was completed in 2015 with the completion of the TVET Centre.

Phase 2 of the project is the construction of the new building for USP Nauru campus inclusive of a Public/Community Library and was scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. However due to unforeseen delays, mainly to do with shipping difficulties, the project took six months longer.

It is particularly important to express the government’s great appreciation to all parties and individuals who have contributed immensely to the planning, construction and completion of the USP building.

Firstly, our sincere appreciation to the Government of Australia for assistance in funding the project. I acknowledge the presence of Australia’s High Commissioner to Nauru, Her Excellency Ms Angela Tierney. In an era where capital works have lost their flavour from donor funding pots, Australia has been steadfast in assisting Nauru with much needed infrastructure development, such as the Learning village as a whole. for which we now witness the completion of the final Nauru is also grateful to Australia for funding the nearby New National Sports Complex. The completion of the sports complex will enhance Nauru’s infrastructure and greatly complement the Learning Village as well the development of youth, sports and health in general. I also wish to acknowledge the previous Australia High Commissioner to Nauru, His Excellency Mr John Donnelly and his deputy, Mr Dan Heldon who were serving here on Nauru for the most part of the project duration. Their goodwill and support were critical in realising the vision for the Learning Village.

We also acknowledge the wonderful work by Alexander and Lloyd Pacific Group: Mr Rhys Gwilliam (Project Manager), Kathleen Cheong (Project architect) and Bunyan Seymour (Site Superintendent), and the Craig Construction, New Zealand: Mr Ian Lock (Manager), Falemalu Muliaga, Taani Lasike (Site Managers and team for their tireless efforts and perseverance. It cannot have been easy dealing with the many stakeholders involved –Australia DFAT, USP, Department of Education, Planning and Aid Division, TVET, NSS. The numerous challenges and difficult circumstances certainly did not help with the complications of completing the project on time in an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

Craig Construction handed over the keys of the building to the Government of Nauru on 3rd May, 2018. We also acknowledge as a very important development partner, the Landowners and their appreciation of the importance that this project plays in producing Nauru’s leaders of tomorrow. And therefore, the Government of Nauru assigns the lease and property to allow USP to operate a campus on Nauru for the purpose of providing tertiary education, a Community library and other ancillary services on Nauru.

The Department of Education welcomes the extension of its scope and reach to include tertiary education by having USP within the Learning Village. Although each member will be guided by its own operational plans and procedures, the facilities belong to the same village and we trust that like fellow villagers, there will be collaboration and sharing of ideas, resources and ideals to be able to provide seamless secondary, tertiary and TVET education to our children on Nauru.

The current Education strategic plan 2017-2021 targets a number of outcomes to be achieved by the educational services within the Learning Village. These include the number of Y12 and TVET students who are to graduate from NSS; the number of graduates from the teacher education program housed at NSS; the librarian training programs and staff professional development, in selected areas such as ICT and office management from USP and expansion of TVET courses to be offered.

The Learning Village is made up of NSS, TVET and USP Nauru Centre an integral part of the Department of Education’s strategic plan for the fulfilment of its mandate and goals, and the new completed USP building brings this to a completion.

I warmly welcome the University of the South Pacific - Nauru Campus as the newest member into the Learning Village and wish it all the best in its new location and in its future.


I now declare the USP Building open.

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