The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Aotearoa New Zealand today announced a new ten-year partnership to support the long-term success of the region’s premier institution.
The partnership, known as the “Aotearoa New Zealand and The University of the South Pacific Framework 2023-2033’ underlines the need for a shared Pacific future.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President (USP VCP) Professor Pal Ahluwalia and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region), Her Excellency Carmel Sepuloni, launched this new partnership after their bilateral meeting at the USP Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies, Laucala Campus, in Suva, Fiji, on April 19th, 2023.
“We are delighted to partner with Aotearoa New Zealand by combining our unique strengths to foster the best outcomes for our Pacific peoples. USP has been and continues to be a bedrock for regionalism and an institution that needs to be strengthened for its long-term sustainability,” Professor Ahluwalia said.
In her response, Aotearoa New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Her Excellency Carmel Sepuloni said, “This partnership will support an enduring and thriving University. It’s a partnership grounded in the value of Pacific regionalism, informed by Pacific knowledge and cultures, and led by Pacific people. It further provides Aotearoa New Zealand with the opportunity to support the University’s strategic direction and deliver against shared priorities.”
For the first five years of this new partnership, Aotearoa New Zealand will contribute NZ$38.5 million to support USP’s long-term planning, innovation, and stability.
The DPM also recognised the importance of USP as a training ground for future Pacific leaders.
“Empowering Pacific-led development strengthens the region’s autonomy, long-term resilience, and prosperity. This partnership is an excellent demonstration of our commitment to a regional approach, making us stronger together,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
The USP VCP added, “This partnership secures our ambitions and allows us to focus on the long-term economic, social and cultural development of USP’s member countries and address their specific national needs.”
This announcement is a testament to the 55-year partnership and the strong relations between USP and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Established in 1968, USP is jointly owned by the governments of its member countries, currently: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.