Alumni and International Office Outreach in Tonga


The Alumni and International Office arms of The University of the South Pacific (USP) carried out a week-long outreach programme in Tonga earlier this month to meet, engage, and connect with regional campus staff, students, and USP alumni in the island kingdom.

Led by USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Regional Campuses and Global Engagement Dr Giulio Paunga, the outreach collaboration is strategically aligned to deliver on USP’s Strategic Plan Priority Areas.

Officiating at the event, Tonga Campus Director Dr Robin Havea and Alumni Affairs Coordinator Mrs Sala Lesuma presented the USP Alumni Relationship Management System (ARMS) to participants, sharing information about the benefits that accrue as part of the Alumni network and the importance of giving back to the university and its students.

The week-long activity provided an opportunity to introduce ARMS, a web-based portal where alumni can register with their email addresses and create their profiles to access various features such as networking with other alumni, joining interest groups, accessing career resources, and receiving the latest news and event updates from USP.

Mrs Lesuma said they also hosted a stand-alone ‘Meet and Greet’ event to re-engage and revive the Alumni Tonga Chapter, established in 2018 when USP celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“The Alumni who attended this ‘Meet and Greet’ included two sitting members of Parliament, Chief Executive Officers of government departments and senior staff, government and private school Principals, a resident Magistrate, academics, church leaders and other professionals from various sectors,” Mrs Lesuma said.

The diversity and calibre of alumni in Tonga indicate the critical role USP has played in educating its political leaders, academics, civil servants, the judiciary, and active professionals who play vital roles in Tonga’s social, economic, and political spheres.

During the five-day programme, the International Office also presented a range of exciting programmes like Erasmus+, Inter-Campus Mobility, and the JENESYS Project, which offered students and staff the chance to participate in enriching exchanges worldwide.

USP International Office Manager, Mrs Lillian Fuata, said they are pleased to see the keen interest of those in attendance in the potential of such exchanges to immerse them in different cultures and communities beyond Tonga.

“By sharing these opportunities, we aim to add value to the USP experience for Tonga students and staff, broadening their horizons, fostering cross-cultural understanding, and providing them with new knowledge and a wider worldview,” Mrs Fuata added.

Tonga Alumni President, Honourable Dr Uhilamoelangi Fasi, expressed delight with the occasion, saying, “This was a sign of strong commitment by University leadership to the value and importance of the USP Alumni network”.

Tonga has seen 2,897 graduates come through USP since 1971, many undertaking graduate and then pursuing postgraduate studies at the university.

USP’s first cohort of graduates was in 1971, and Tonga’s first graduate was Ms Mosikaka Kavapalu, who graduated with a Diploma in Education in 1971.

USP has around 67,000 alumni, some of whom are leaders in different areas of government, non-governmental organisations, companies and organisations in the region and worldwide.

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