Hundreds of students turned up to the USP Laucala Orientation


Hundreds of students attended The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE), and the School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS) yesterday at the AusAid Lecture Theatres, Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.

The USP Orientation is happening simultaneously at all our campuses across the region, the likes of Tonga, and Cook Islands starting theirs today, while Kiribati and Marshall Islands continued with their second day of orientation.

Despite the wet conditions in Suva, the students were determined to make the most of the orientation day, a crucial event for those joining the university for the first time, as it is their first step into the university experience.

Addressing the mass of enthusiastic first-year students, USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President Education Professor Jito Vanualailai stressed that the university encourages independent learning and while lecturers, course coordinators, tutors, and teaching assistants are available to help guide them, that the onus is on students to make use of the resources available to them.

“USP is the premier institution in the region and is the only university in our beloved Pacific (besides Australia and New Zealand) to be ranked consecutively in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking for its work and research in relevant areas of development.”

The Deputy Head of School for SPACE and Acting Head of School of SoLaSS shared the same sentiments while addressing students yesterday, emphasising the need for proper time management to ensure our first-year students can keep up with flexible learning modes at USP.

The same message was shared by the School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP) and the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS), which had their orientation today at the Laucala Campus.

Lavinia Lu’au, a 19-year-old Tongan student, expressed her excitement and enthusiasm about starting her academic journey at USP.

The Bachelor of Network and Security student, the youngest of eight siblings, said she is excited to start her journey at USP the USP Tonga Campus and work towards securing a better future for herself and her family.

“Growing up in my hometown presented the challenge of financial strain on my family, particularly regarding my education. My parents worked tirelessly to meet the demands of school fees, a hurdle that persisted throughout my childhood and secondary school years.”

“The weight of this financial responsibility was significant, but it fueled my determination to succeed. I overcame these challenges by recognising my parents’ sacrifices and channelling that awareness into a strong work ethic and dedication to my studies. Education became not just a pursuit of knowledge but a shared commitment to breaking barriers and creating a brighter future.”

Excited to be part of the USP Orientation today, Lu’au said, “USP was my first choice for higher education. Its stellar reputation, diverse academic programmes, and the testimonials of those who had flourished in its educational environment made it a clear and compelling choice.”

“USP’s commitment to excellence aligned seamlessly with my educational aspirations, solidifying it as the ideal institution to pursue my academic journey.”

As a first-year student, Lu’au said she is excited about “the prospect of diving into the enriching academic environment and immerse myself in the rich cultural experience USP offers”.

As part of the orientation, students had a tour of our campus led by the USP Campus Life student buddies and learned about their schools, programmes, USP services, and how to navigate their way around once school starts next week.

The USP Orientation was also marked by cultural performances from the USP Student Association (USPSA), providing a glimpse of cultural activities and experiences for new students.

The USP Orientation at the Laucala Campus will continue tomorrow with the School of Accounting, Finance, and Economics (SAFE) and School of Business and Management (SBM)ready to welcome their first-year and resuming students.

The Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) will host their Orientation on Thursday (Feb 21, 2024) before class starts on Monday.

Meanwhile, our Emalus Campus in Vanuatu, Labasa Campus in Vanua Levu, Fiji, and Nauru Campus will host their two-day orientation on Thursday (Feb 22) and Friday (Feb 23), the Tuvalu orientation is scheduled for Thursday (Feb 22) while the Lautoka Campus’ four day orientation is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday (Feb 26 & 27) and March 1st and 2nd.

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