The four-day 2023 Eduniversal World Convention started this morning at the Sofitel Resort on Denarau Islands, Nadi, with nearly a hundred participants in attendance.
Hosted by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Business and Management (SBM) and the Eduniversal Group, the convention aims to explore areas of collaboration and research that will catapult development in the private sector in the Pacific and worldwide.
The four-day international convention gathered academics, researchers, scholars and deans of highly ranked Business Schools from renowned universities globally.
Officiating the programme’s opening today, Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Professor Biman Prasad, stressed the importance of research and collaboration, which can also focus on climate change, an existential threat to developing economies in Fiji, the Pacific and the world.
Professor Prasad said that Business Schools in universities around the world, including Fiji and the Pacific, have an essential role to play in addressing issues affecting development both in the public and private sectors.
“Research conducted by Business Schools in the past has helped guide countries through challenging times and future research, through collaboration with institutions such as Eduniversal will and can provide a pathway to success and prosperities,” Professor Prasad said.
He added that while various issues are being included in the curriculum throughout most Business Schools, it is also critically important to add climate change as a topic that needs to be discussed urgently, as it is affecting most countries. “It needs to be addressed to continue successful development that will boost our private sector and ultimately help our country grow.”
Host of this year’s Convention, USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia, said a prosperous and well-informed region requires an agile, highly productive knowledge economy led by appropriately educated and skilled people.
“Through its regional mandate, USP will have to play a leading role, be wise and at the forefront of our social and economic transformation.”
He added that a critical policy issue for the region is grounding education in culture, language and identity to support students to build on their existing skills and knowledge to accelerate learning and protect cultural values and traditions.
“The call for a greater focus on culture and values is echoed across multiple sectors in the Pacific and will require multisectoral partnerships and coordinated action to deliver.”
“There is an increasingly influential and growing body of research and knowledge on what education success looks like in the Pacific that draws on a holistic understanding of education to enhance resilience, well-being, and values.”
Similar sentiments were shared by USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Head of the School of Business and Management (SBM), Professor Gurmeet Singh and Eduniversal Group Chief Executive Officer and Founder Martial Guiette.
Professor Singh said that Fiji, like other Pacific Island countries, often grapple with limited resources, limited access to quality higher education, and scattered geography that poses logistical challenges.
“We have issues related to brain drain, infrastructure deficiencies, and the foremost important is climate change. These challenges impact the overall quality of educational opportunities for our students, and overcoming these obstacles requires a holistic approach,” Professor Singh added.
“This Convention provides the opportunity for the exchange of ideas and insights from leaders worldwide and offers the valuable opportunity to craft innovative solutions that may apply to our country as well.”
“By fostering collaborative dialogue, we can tap into the wealth of knowledge accumulated by these global education pioneers and their experiences in overcoming barriers, implementing successful strategies and navigating cultural nuances that can serve as a guiding light for the educational transformation we see in the South Pacific region.”
Eduniversal CEO and Founder Martial Guiette stressed that “In Fiji, found USP, a dynamic university that epitomises openness to the world and offers an opportunity for us to share extraordinary experiences that are often impossible in large areas.”
“During the Convention, we’ll explore exciting and relevant topics such as distance learning, artificial intelligence and the development of Eduniversal national and regional worldwide and through a franchised system.”
The four-day convention will continue at the Sofitel Resort on Denarau Island tomorrow before it moves to Suva on Wednesday (November 1, 2023)