USP Cook Islands Campus

Cook Islands Campus

Welcome to USP Cook Islands Campus

Over the past 42 years, thousands of Cook Islanders have enrolled in USP courses and many have gained qualifications at certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate degree levels. Of a total resident Cook Islands population of just over 7000 adults, over 500 hold undergraduate or postgraduate degrees from the University, while another 75 have achieved post graduate qualifications from other institutions with the assistance of USP Cook Islands.


The USP Cook Islands centre was officially established in 1975 under the directorship of Mr. Neville Pearson and housed at the Public Health building in Tupapa, Rarotonga. At this time the Centre was linked to the main USP campus at Laucala using the Peacesat satellite service.

The current campus buildings were opened at Takamoa in 1979 and extended in 2012.

At the end of 1981, Mr. John Herrmann assumed the position of Director, holding the post for the following 21 years. The present Director, Mr. Rod Dixon assumed duties in August 2002.


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

    Outer Islands development

    Around 20% of current enrolment is in outer islands with students in 8 of the 10 inhabited islands.

    Outer islands centres  - the Mangaia Centre was opened in 2013 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 established  a USP study centre in 2014  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.

  • Book launch for Cook Islands Art & Architecture


    Regulation Governing Student Conduct

    Students are strongly recommended to read the Regulation Governing Student Conduct.

    New Mangaia Study - September, 2013

    Careers Expo 2013 Report - 25 July, 2013


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Page updated: Sunday, December 31, 2017
USP Cooks Islands Campus
PO Box 130, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Phone: (682) 29415
Fax: (682) 21315