From (L-R): Mr Winston Thompson, Pro Chancellor and Chair of USP Council; His Excellency Mr David Adeang, Acting President of Nauru; Honourable Ms Charmaine Scotty, Minister of Education, Nauru; Her Excellency Ms Angela Tierney, Australian High Commissioner and Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP during the official opening of the Nauru Campus.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) new Campus in Nauru’s Yaren District was officially opened by His Excellency David Adeang, the Acting President of Nauru on 21 May 2018.
The opening of the new Nauru Campus was ahead of the University’s 86th Council Meeting from 22 – 23 May 2018. Present to attend the opening ceremony was His Excellency, David Adeang, Acting President of Nauru; Speaker of Nauru Parliament, Honourable Cyril Buraman; Honourable Charmaine Scotty, Minister of Education of Nauru; Chief Justice of Nauru; Her Excellency Angela Tierney, the Australian High Commissioner to Nauru; His Excellency Chin-Fa Chow, Taiwan Ambassador to Nauru; Honourable Ministers and Members of the Nauru Parliament; Pro Chancellor and Chair of USP Council Mr Winston Thompson; Members of USP Council, Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor and President; USP senior staff from Laucala Campus; Representatives of USP’s Development Partners; Representatives of Alexander & Lloyd Group, and Craig Construction Limited; Chair and representatives of the Nauru Learning Village Taskforce Working Group; and staff and students of the University’s Nauru Campus.
The new Nauru Campus is part of the Nauru Learning Village which also houses Nauru Secondary School and Nauru Technical & Vocational Education Training. The construction of the USP Nauru Campus was jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Government of Nauru.
Hon. Charmaine Scotty, Minister of Education of Nauru said the opening of the new Nauru Campus marks a new era of educational development for the people and government of Nauru.
“Today heralds a very special time for the beginning of education landscape of Nauru and throughout this week we will be witnessing a significant number of events which are very important to the people and the Government of Nauru,” Hon. Scotty said.
“The Learning Village of which the USP Nauru Campus is part of, will facilitate the pathway and the opportunity for students to progress from high school to tertiary education and to realise their goals and dreams,” Hon. Scotty added.
She said that the new USP Campus in Nauru is indeed a gift worthy of the golden jubilee celebrations of both Nauru and USP.
“The USP Nauru Campus is in itself a significant achievement born out of goodwill, cooperation, and a lot of hardwork amongst partners and neighbors. This project is one of the long-term projects under the education sector stated in Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy,” she added.
Hon. Scotty thanked all the parties that had contributed immensely to the planning, construction and completion of the USP building and acknowledged and expressed appreciation to the Government of Australia for financing the Nauru Learning Village project.
The new Nauru Campus as part of the Nauru Learning Village that was officially opened on 21 May, 2018, Yaren District, Nauru.
She further thanked the landowners of Nauru to allow USP to build the Campus for the purpose of providing tertiary education, community library and other ancillary services on Nauru.
She also highlighted that the establishment of the Community Library as part of the new USP Nauru Campus is a significant development that is aimed at creating an interest in reading for the members of the local community thus broadening their knowledge and creating a learned community in Nauru.
Her Excellency Angela Tierney, Australian High Commissioner to Nauru said Australia is very pleased to have provided funding for this high quality USP Nauru Campus facility which also provide a world class venue for regional and international meetings such as the Forum Education Ministers Meeting later this week and the leaders retreat during the Pacific Island Forum in September later in the year, when Presidents and Prime Ministers will gather at the new Nauru Campus to discuss policies and initiatives that will provide for a peaceful, secure and prosperous future for the Pacific region.
“Education is the top priority for any nation and this facility will make a strong contribution to the education and training of the Nauruan workforce into the future,” H.E Ms Tierney said.
“Under the Australian-Nauru Aid partnership, we remain committed to increasing good quality education for all Nauruans including, tertiary, technical and vocational education services.”
She added that the opening of the USP Nauru Campus marks the completion of the second phase of the Nauru Learning Village and the first phase included the re-development of the Nauru secondary school and the development of the TVET centre also funded by the Australian government.
“(USP) complements Australia’s broader support to education including through the Australian Awards scholarships and the new Hammer DeRobert awards in acknowledgement of Nauru’s 50th year of independence,” H.E Ms Tierney added.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor and President thanked the Government of Nauru and the Australian Government for funding and supporting the construction of the new Campus.
“The new campus demonstrates the firm commitment of the Government of Nauru, the Australian Government, and USP towards working together for the development of this country’s education system—and therefore the development of the country since education is the foundation of all development,” Professor Chandra said.
He thanked the Government of Australia for the magnificent new Campus and facilities saying "that this demonstrates Australia's committment to sustainable education in the Pacific region through USP as the premier provider of tertiary education in the region."
Professor Chandra noted that the University is particularly looking forward to fully leveraging the new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities to improve connectivity to all campuses and also to facilitate the provision of expanded, faster and more reliable ICT-based learning courses, especially distance and flexible learning (DFL) courses.
Side view of the new Nauru Campus and USPNet Satellite facility financed by the New Zealand Government at Yaren District in Nauru.
“The rolling out of Lecture Capture which enables students studying from Nauru to experience face-to-face-lectures from other campuses like Laucala, Emalus and Alafua will be a major feature of learning at the new campus,” he added.
USP undertook the installation of a new C-Band Satellite Antenna and related equipment at the new Nauru Campus - this was the first phase of implementation of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded USPNet Infrastructure Upgrade Project which will involve the replacement of all end of life C-Band satellite infrastructure and the re-design of USPNet regional network connectivity to transform regional ICT for Teaching, Learning and Research well into the next 10 years. The total cost of C-Band Antenna and installation works was about FJD $92,098.
USP also provided funding for the total ICT infrastructure fit out for the new campus which include the installation of new server systems and network equipment, WiFi technology to allow for connectivity anywhere on campus, new computers and state of the art audio-visual and CCTV facilities for SMART classrooms. The total cost of ICT infrastructure, equipment and materials was about FJD $378,613. USP also provided technical support staff for the installation and commissioning to the cost of about FJD $97,330.
Professor Chandra acknowledged the New Zealand Government’s assistance to USP to strengthen connectivity at regional campuses through its donation of the new satellite dish for the new Nauru Campus as part of its overall grant for the upgrade of USPNet—which is New Zealand Government’s 50th anniversary gift to the University and the Pacific Island Countries.
He assured the Government and people of Nauru of the productive use of the new campus and its excellent facilities.
“While the new campus will not solve all of the challenges facing Nauru’s education sector, I am confident that it will surely help train generations of young people who will be important for the future of Nauru, and assist in the strengthening of education and research in this country,” Professor Chandra said.
The Campus is built within 1500 square meters of space and some key features of the new building include disability friendly facility, one audio visual theatre with a capacity to accommodate 60 people, one computer laboratory with 30 computers and two lecture rooms which are digitally friendly and can sustain 30 students each, outdoor terrace, one large conference room that can be divided into two, which can hold a total capacity of 150 people, it also boasts appropriate fire protection evacuation facility and has water tanks with self-contained rain water harvesting system and high energy efficiency through LED lighting system.
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