Address by Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President at Open Day 2018 -  Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Address by Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President at Open Day 2018 on Friday 27 July 2018

1. Acknowledgement and Greetings

Ni Sa Yadra, Namaste and a very Good Morning to all.

On behalf of the University, it is my honour and privilege to welcome most warmly the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Honourable Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, as the Chief Guest for our 2018 Open Day. Thank you very much, Sir, that despite your known busy schedule, you agreed to be our Chief Guest this year as we mark and celebrate our 50th Anniversary. We see this yet another example of the support of the Fijian government for USP and recognition of the role we play in the development of Fiji and our other member countries.

Fiji has supported the University from the very beginning and we acknowledge that under your leadership, Sir, the Fijian Government has made education not only a major priority but accessible and affordable to Fijians. Let me also welcome our distinguished guests; secondary school students, their principals and teachers; parents and guardians; sponsors; and media organisations to our 2018 Open Day.

2. Five Decades of Tertiary Education to Pacific Islanders

As we celebrate five decades of achievement, we welcome you all to our beautiful campuses, and invite you to learn about why we are so proud of this unique University that has propelled so many Fijians and Pacific Islanders to successful careers and great impact nationally, regionally and internationally. Our member Governments’ support, with Fiji being the largest contributor, has entrusted us to offer you the best possible education for a successful future.

Over the past several years, Fiji Government has successfully rolled out the Toppers Scholarship and Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) that has given every Fijian student who qualifies for tertiary education a chance to undertake tertiary education and which is increasingly looked upon as a possible model for the rest of the Pacific. Honourable Prime Minister, we commend you and your Government for such bold initiatives and allocating a record $1 billion to education in the 2018-2019 Budget to create a smart and prosperous Fiji.

3. What USP Offers to Students?

With its 14 campuses in its 12 member countries, numerous international accreditations, flexibility in mode of study, strong employability of our graduates and affordability, USP is clearly a very good option for students.

USP gives you a choice of a comprehensive range of relevant academic programmes, many of which can be pursued at all campuses and in a variety of formats- face-to-face, online, flexible learning, or via a mixture of modes. In addition, our students have access to the Disability Resource Centre, which caters specifically for the needs of students with disabilities.

4. For USP Quality is Priority

The USP’s founding document, the Morris Report, said that the Pacific people needed a university of esteem, of reputation. Today, it is widely acknowledged that USP has this esteem, this reputation nationally, regionally and very importantly, internationally. So far, the University has achieved 27 accreditations and 15 recognitions for our programmes. We expect to obtain many more accreditations as this remains a major priority for the University.

The most important recent validation of our quality is the fact that USP has now been accredited by the American accrediting agency, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), valid for six years. This accreditation is different from the accreditation of particular programmes as it is the accreditation of USP as a whole, and with this, our programmes will be recognized in US.

5. Innovative and Smart Student/Staff Community

The University has some very bright students who have been producing excellent innovations. We have registered eight innovation patents with the Australian Patent Office, and last week we launched a number of Apps developed by our students and staff. If you join, you will get a chance to excel and innovate—and secure your future.

6. Use of Technology in Education

Serving our students and ensuring high quality student success is at the core of our mission. We are recognised internationally as a pioneer in the use of ICT for education. While at USP, you will have access to one of the most sophisticated learning networks and systems with access to the latest technologies that will make it easier for you to study and succeed, remain connected with friends and family at home and well prepared for the highly digitalized world awaiting us.

We provide tablet computers to our first year degree students to enable mobile learning: when you want and where you want. We utilise mobile apps for learning and communication and keep our computer labs and networks updated and open for long hours. Our campuses are Wi-Fi enabled and we will keep upgrading our facilities so that students are assured of having the same tech-friendly experience as students overseas. Our students also have access to some world-class labs with very committed, friendly and innovative lecturers, professors and researchers.

7. Conclusion

Today’s Open Day is very special. I encourage you to visit the labs, experiments and displays of the Faculties and Pacific TAFE, talk to staff, and have fun. Have a great experience at USP today and make the right choice to achieve your dreams.

8. Introduction of Chief Guest

It is now my profound pleasure and honour to introduce our Chief Guest:

I now have great pleasure in requesting the Honourable Prime Minister to deliver his keynote address and officially open the 2018 USP Open Day.

Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyavaad, Thank You

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