The 24th Chancellor of USP and President of Fiji, H.E Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote confers a graduate with his certificate during Nauru’s first ever graduation ceremony.
The University of the South Pacific held its’ first-ever graduation ceremony in Nauru on 25 May 2018 at the Centennial Hall in Nauru.
A total of 48 students graduated, with three receiving their certificates in-person. The rest of the 45 students graduated in abstention. Apart from the 48 students who graduated, 57 Nauruan alumni were also presented to the Chancellor of USP.
The 24th Chancellor of USP, President of Fiji, His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, conferred certificates, diplomas and degrees during the graduation ceremony.
H.E Konrote congratulated all the graduates and alumni present at the ceremony.
“All your hardwork and sacrifices have paid off, each of you are now not only qualified intellectuals, but you now have the world at your fingertips. Your qualifications no doubt will be a game changer in your lives. You have every opportunity to excel in the world for yourselves, your families, communities and your country,” H.E Konrote said.
H.E Konrote said it was pleasing to officiate at the Nauru graduation ceremony, which coincides with both Nauru’s and the University’s 50th anniversaries.
He added that Nauru is a great success story and some of the leaders of Nauru both past and present are alumni of USP.
“They are classic examples of what USP graduates can achieve in life – to be leaders in their respective fields of endeavour, leaders in their respective communities, and leaders of great nations,” H.E Konrote said.
H.E Konrote told the graduates that their contributions as USP graduates can and will have a profound impact on the Pacific as a whole.He added that as Fiji’s Head of State, he looks forward to strengthening the relationships amongst the peoples of the Pacific.
“This is vitally important because we are increasingly challenged to deal with issues that directly affect our islands and our peoples. Issues like climate change that absolutely knows no boundaries. The rising sea-level has already started to affect all our low-lying countries in the Pacific, as well as around the world,” H.E Konrote said.
H.E Konrote urged the graduates to make their lives meaningful and stimulating by making the effort to bring positive developments to their families, nation and to the Pacific region as a whole.
“I urge you to be enthusiastic and ambitious, diligent, reliable, and develop good work attributes. Importantly, I urge you to develop the wisdom and the moral courage to always do what is right,” H.E Konrote added.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP said that since its establishment, the University has issued close to 64, 000 qualifications to about 45, 000 alumni, testifying to its foundational role in tertiary education and capacity building in USP member countries.
He highlighted that of the 48 students graduating at this graduation ceremony, 62 per cent are males and 38 per cent are females.
Professor Chandra added that 96 per cent of those graduating are from Certificate IV in Fisheries Enforcement and Compliance, one person is graduating with Level III Certificate in Community Development and one person is graduating in Foundation Science.
“Students from nine (9) countries are part of this graduation, including two students from non-member countries, Federated States of Micronesia and New Zealand,” Professor Chandra said.
Professor Chandra noted that “USP alumni hold prominent positions in the government and in the private sector in Nauru.”
“I am proud to say that three of our alumni went on to hold prominent leadership positions in Nauru including His Excellency Baron Divavesi Waqa, and former presidents Ludwig Scotty and Kinza Clodumar,” he highlighted.
Professor Chandra said USP is in the final year of its current Strategic Plan implementation and it has already achieved 82 per cent of what it set out to achieve.
“The new Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2024 is in the process of being developed and the first draft was presented to Council this week with the final draft expected to be approved at the November Council,” he stated.
The University, Professor Chandra said, continues its quest to improve its quality and reputation through international accreditations of its programmes to ensure that the graduates of USP are of the highest quality.
“We measure quality through independent international accreditation and recognitions. In a short period from 2010 to now, we have 28 international accreditations and 10 international recognitions exceeding the SP KPIs.”
The WASC Senior College and University Commission which is the American accrediting body for higher education is also expected to make an announcement in July this year for American accreditation of USP.
“This would be great validation of USP’s quality because the whole American system would recognise USP’s systems and the quality of education offered by USP as the same as any other university in America,” Professor Chandra highlighted.
Professor Chandra said that USP aims to ensure that all of its campuses are provided the best in terms of technology to enhance the learning experience and provide students benefits available elsewhere.
“With the opening of the new campus in Nauru and the state-of-the-art ICT set-up, Nauruan students should be able to benefit very much from the lecture capture system,” Professor Chandra added.
Present at the Nauru Campus graduation ceremony were: 24th Chancellor of USP and President of Fiji, H.E Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote and Mrs Sarote Konrote; President of Nauru, H.E Baron Divavesi Waqa and Madam Luisa Waqa; Speaker of Parliament of Nauru, Hon. Cyril Buraman; Pro Chancellor and Chair of USP Council, Mr Winston Thompson and Mrs Queenie Thompson; Honourable Ministers and Senior Officials of the Nauru Government; Honourable Ministers and Members of the USP Council; Australian High Commissioner to Nauru, H.E Angela Tierney; Fiji’s Roving Ambassador to the Pacific, H.E Ratu Tui Cavuilati; Heads of International and Regional Organisations; Members of USP Senate and their Committees; Members of the USP Senior Management Team; Nauru Campus Director Alamada Lauti, Members of USP staff and students; USP Alumni; Members of the Nauruan media; graduates, their families and friends.
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