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Welcome to USP Solomon Islands Campus 2019

Prof. Premnarine Misir, Pro Vice-Chancellor, USP Solomon Islands Campus

New Year 2019 Message from Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Prem Misir

A Happy New Year 2019!

I hope all of you had a wonderful recess. Welcome back to The University of the South Pacific (USP) Solomon Islands Campus in this New Year 2019.

As we commence the Year 2019 and a new Semester with improved vigor and vitality, allow me please to express gratitude to students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners on your energy and accomplishments in 2018 to leverage USP-Solomon Islands Campus to a higher intellectual, moral, and cultural ground.

As you know, each New Year entices us to do things in another way and better, and this New Year 2019 is no different. The commencement of the New Year is the time for resolutions. These New Year resolutions may act as an impetus to achieve desired outcomes. This year with the new Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia and Vice President Dr. Giulio Paungaís ongoing contribution, a new team spirit and a new team engagement, the expectation is that the USP Solomon Islands Campus will forge ahead with new initiatives to advance the tertiary education interests of students and the community and sustain the progression of Solomon Islands and the general Pacific region. Within this context, USPís new Strategic Plan 2019-2024 will become a significant influence and standard in pursuance of the new resolutions.

This year we will pursue new programs and other initiatives. For instance, Objective 14 of the Regional Priority Area of the new Strategic Plan stipulates the need to improve the functioning and capacity of USP Solomon Islands Campus as a paradigm in tertiary education and increase the delivery of in-country programs. In relation to realizing Objective 14, over the next five years, USP Solomon Islands Campus will function within the economies of operations and relate to the national system to meet the countryís development needs for sustainability purposes, and perceived as a National Institute, but always sustaining USPís core values linked to national, regional and international strategic development plans.

Again, under the Regional Priority Area of the new Strategic Plan, the key performance indicators (KPIs) of Objective 15 present a focus on information and communication technology. And so, over the next five years, USP Solomon Islands Campus expects to enhance its IT infrastructure and services; to cultivate a pool of talent in IT skills; to ensure the presence of high bandwidth connectivity and wi-fi services; to develop an online database of local expertise; and to establish a digital research portal to access incountry research resources.

During the next few months, we will vigorously work to establish the flagship School of Public Health (SPH) to service the health needs of USPís 12 Pacific Island countries, and will buoyantly assess the dynamics for a possible start date of Semester 2, 2019. The SPH will sustain a commitment to a vision of interprofessional and interdisciplinary public health research and education vis-ŗ-vis a dynamic academic center and public health organizations. And its mission will be to focus on the most significant issues challenging the health of Pacific populations, such as, to recognize effective methods to disease prevention and disability; to construct health equity in the diverse Pacific population; and to train the succeeding generation of Pacific public health leaders. The SPH will hold strong to the premise that good public health innovations are the outcome of informed debate and exchange of ideas vis-ŗ-vis multidisciplinarity, sectors, agencies and institutions. The SPH already is a member of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE). Within a few years, the SPH may satisfy the criteria for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation.

Notwithstanding the numerous national and regional pecuniary ordeals, not unlike many tertiary institutions globally, USP Solomon Islands Campus and USP tertiary fraternity project considerable determination to create a full-bodied and maintainable Campus. Indeed, it is heartening to note that active negotiations to consummate ĎThe University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands Campus Intermediate and Junior and Hourly Paid Staff Agreement 2014í are well underway, and optimistically should reach conclusion early in the New Year 2019. The concept of this agreement is to institute and enrich the harmonious industrial relations environment within which the Solomon Islands Campus Staff Association and USP will engage in regular parleys to their mutual benefit.

In addition, it is critical that we increase student numbers in the degree programs, and particularly through student advisement, to encourage students who have completed successfully the Pacific Technical and Further Education (TAFE) programs to matriculate into baccalaureate programs. Degree programs will add to the work of Pacific TAFE in the provision of higher requisite skills for Solomon Islands as a resource-constrained country.

USP Solomon Islands Campus also would need to invigorate its research activities and sustain quality research, for research is absolutely necessary for the creation and development of new knowledge. Furthermore, peer-reviewed publications should emanate from quality research. Today, knowledge and not physical capital, has become the source of wealth for social and economic development. And this pursuit to develop a knowledge society in the Solomon Islands now apportions higher status to higher education. And our expectation is that USP Solomon Islands Campus can contribute to developing a knowledge society in the Solomon Islands.

Let me thank all of you for your dedicated contribution toward the accomplishments of USP Solomon Islands Campus. It is my expectation to meet with students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners throughout this year to keep you informed and updated on developments, and again, a Happy New Year 2019.

Professor Prem Misir
Pro Vice-Chancellor


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