Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Office of the Vice-Chancellor



Welcome remarks by Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice Chancellor and President on USP Open Day, Friday 26th July, 2019

  • Minister for Education, Heritage & Arts, Hon. Rosy Akbar
  • Mr Winston Thompson Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council
  • Excellencies, Heads of the Diplomatic Corps, International and Regional Organisations
  • Members of the University Council, the Senate and its Committees.
  • Senior Officials of Fiji Government and Statutory Organisations
  • Senior Management, Staff and Alumni of the University
  • Students, Teachers and Principals of Secondary School around the country and those tuned in for live coverage
  • Sponsors, Media, Parents and Guardians
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of The University of the South Pacific it is an honour and privilege for me to warmly welcome the Minister for Education, Heritage & Arts, Hon. Rosy Akbar, as our Chief Guest for the USP Open Day, themed this year as Shaping Pacific Futures.

  1. Thank you sincerely Minister for agreeing to be here this morning to officiate at our programme. Your presence here is most welcome and a testimony of your and the Fiji Government’s commitment and support to USP.
  2. Over 5 decades, we have seen the unwavering support of the Fiji Government for USP. We are appreciative of the current Fiji Government’s commitment to education through scholarships, loan funding, resources and initiatives ensuring that education is more accessible and affordable to all Fijians.
    Indeed, Fiji is leading the region in how tertiary education can be made accessible and affordable for its citizens.
  3. I extend also warm greetings and a special welcome to our distinguished guests; all our secondary school students, teachers and principals, parents and guardians, sponsors and the media and of course those who have tuned in for this live coverage.
    Ladies and Gentlemen
  4. Today, we hope to provide our secondary school students and other prospective students with an opportunity to experience what USP has to offer in terms of our (internationally accredited) programmes, our state of the art facilities and resources and provide an opportunity for you to meet our highly qualified academic and professional staff. What makes us unique is our regional character and our deep commitment to research and innovation. As the world is changing rapidly, our students will increasingly have to be life-long learners. As the premier regional university we will continue to evolve so that we provide you with the latest curriculum and a student experience that allows you to have the greatest opportunity to succeed. This is what Shaping Pacific Futures entails.
  5. We are very proud of our campus here at Laucala as well as our campuses in Lautoka and Labasa where the Open Day is also being held today. Being a regional University we are also in 11 other member countries – some of which are also hosting Open Day today.
  6. Our campuses are beautiful and unique and we are proud to have educated, trained and supported many distinguished Fijians and Pacific Islanders, who have become leaders of their respective countries and communities. Many have become highly successful in their careers, businesses and professions within the region and internationally.
  7. It is with the support of our member country Governments and Development Partners that we are able to provide students with the best tertiary education for a successful career and future. By coming here, you will not only maximize the chance of success but will undoubtedly have a student experience second to none in the Pacific Islands.
  8. As you explore where you will study, we at USP want you to know that we are aspirational, energetic and committed to change and success, ensuring an enduring partnership with each of you.
  9. We believe that the knowledge, skills and values that students will develop whilst studying here at USP will help you in becoming leaders within our communities well into the future.
  10. We are a values-led university which fosters excellence and creativity. We endeavour to be Ethical and Accountable. We have respect for Diversity and we are all about supporting our people.
  11. We are here because of our Students. USP will always work to ensure that our students are provided with a comprehensive range of excellent and relevant tertiary qualifications and pathways, delivered innovatively.
  12. USP is ranked amongst the top 50 universities in Oceania region, our future aspirations are to become better and to build on our reputation to be amongst the best universities of the world. Just this week, our Executive MBA was ranked among the top 5 in Oceania by ED Universal in Paris.
  13. We wish to assure our member countries, and in particular, the Fiji Government that we will continue to address the quality of our education enabling us to produce work-ready graduates.
    Ladies and Gentlemen
  14. As you can see the opportunities are endless. I hope that you will use today to explore the choices available and decide what best suits you. We are ready to assist you with your choice of programme to achieve your dreams so make USP your first and only choice. I encourage you to talk to our staff who are here to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
  15. To ensure that you are aware about what is available for you when you join us, we also have the USP App that provides you an update on what is happening around the University.
  16. CONCLUSION
  17. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen and students, I thank you again for your presence and I hope that you enjoy your time here at the USP Open Day. I look forward to seeing many of you in 2020 as students of this great institution.
  18. It is now my pleasure and privilege to invite our Chief Guest, the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Hon. Rosy Sofia Akbar to deliver her address.
    Thank You.

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