The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) expanded campus in Honiara, Solomon Islands will be fitted with modern technology, including high-speed internet, state-of-the-art learning and teaching facilities, and energy-efficient lighting.
This was revealed during a media tour of the new campus, located east of the existing Honiara Campus, by USP staff and associates of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday (March 15th, 2023).
The project is funded through a USD$15.4 million ADB concessional loan and an ADB-administered grant from the Clean Energy Fund, and promises to provide better access to higher education for locals and regional students.
USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Professor Jito Vanualailai who toured the facility with representatives from ADB and Kramer Ausenco (Project Consultant) said the expanded campus is another milestone for USP and ADB’s long-term partnership in the Pacific.
“The upgraded campus with its state-of-the-art facilities will provide students with better access to academic, training, and vocational opportunities,” Professor Vanualailai added.
This undertaking aims to support students’ aspirations in public health programmes through the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Solomon Islands’ ADB Pacific Country Office’s Unit Head, Elmar Elbing, expressed that the visit was an opportunity to witness first-hand the progress of important projects and the immense possibilities it provided for the growing youth population in Solomon and the region with access to quality education and training.
“We are delighted to partner with USP and the Government of Solomon Islands on this initiative. It will enhance ICT-based education, improve student support services, and help strengthen the university’s governance and management,” Mr Elbing said.
Kramer Ausenco Project Consultant, Saju Abraham said the campus will include full disability access for students, 600kW roof-top solar-powered system that will contribute to the campus’ energy needs; gender-friendly designs such as the creation of safe and secure ICT learning hubs with sanitation facilities for both women and men.
Mr Abraham said the new building will provide additional teaching space including tutorial rooms and lecture theatres with a seating capacity of 172 people.
The Solomon Islands’ ADB Pacific Country Office’s Unit Head said that ADB was committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
Around 100 local workers are working on the project, and the campus construction is expected to be completed by mid-2023.