USP signs contract with MFAT to Enhance Teaching Capacity in Inclusive Education


The University of the South Pacific (USP) is proud to announce the signing of a groundbreaking grant agreement of $NZ4.1 million with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) aimed at strengthening teaching capacity in inclusive education in the Pacific.

The contract, officially inked by USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia, highlights a commitment to fostering an inclusive learning environment for all students.

Under the agreement, USP’s Institute of Education will spearhead the implementation of the Build Teaching Capacity in Inclusive Education Phase 2 programme with New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) as its donor partner.

The initiative was launched as the ‘Tupu’ Programme by Pacific education leaders in Nadi on March 13.

This programme aligns with USP’s overarching mission to provide quality education that meets the diverse needs of Pacific communities.

Professor Pal Ahluwalia expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “I want to say how pleased I am that our Institute of Education and MFAT have gone into a partnership”.

“This is a wonderful day for the University, and really another feather in the cap of our Director (Dr Seu‘ula Johansson-Fua, Institute of Education),” he said.

He said this was a game changer for the five countries that were involved in the programme, namely, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands and Vanuatu.

“More than that, it is about helping the most marginalised of children and providing resources on how to bring their level of education up to Pacific standard. Which we are all look for, through the Pacific Regional Education Framework perspective as well.”

The partnership with MFAT highlights the importance of regional cooperation in addressing educational challenges and advancing sustainable development goals.

By leveraging resources and expertise, both institutions have embarked on a journey to make a meaningful impact on education.


About the Tupu Programme

The Tupu Programme will target school leaders, teachers and teacher aids to create an enabling, supportive and inclusive environment for teaching and learning that caters to the needs of children in the five Pacific Countries. This will be achieved through a whole of school approach to inclusive education. This programme is iterative and targeted in collaboration with Ministries and Departments of Education in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tonga and Vanuatu.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Shreya Kumar, Institute of Education, The University of the South Pacific (

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lead Adviser Education Mr Shane Coleman and Institute of Education Director Dr Seu‘ula Johansson-Fua after the contract signing in Nadi, March 14, 2023.
USP Chat Service
Lets start: