Graduates are all smiles after their graduation ceremony on 21 September 2018.
More than 500 students from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) were awarded certificates, diplomas and degrees at the National Gymnasium on 21 September 2018.
This was the third ceremony for the second graduation of 2018 for the Laucala Campus. The first two graduations – for the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment and Pacific and Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) in the morning and Faculty of Arts, Law and Education in the afternoon, were held in two separate ceremonies on 20 September 2018.
The ceremony was attended by the 25th Chancellor, His Excellency Taneti Maamau, the President of the Republic of Kiribati; Pro- Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mr Winston Thompson and Mrs Queenie Thompson; Honourable Ministers and Senior Officials of the Fijian Government; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Heads of International and Regional Organisations; Members of Council, Senate and their Committees; Members of the USP Senior Management Team; Graduands, their families and friends; and staff and students.
His Excellency Maamau, while conferring the degrees, diplomas and certificates congratulated the graduates, saying, he knew the excitement that the graduates were feeling as he was once a student of USP and is now a proud alumnus of this regional tertiary education provider.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP extended a warm welcome to H.E. Maamau and acknowledged the graduands and their families.
In total, 1,321 students graduated in the three ceremonies, which is the highest number of Laucala’s September graduation and 11 per cent more than last year. FBE graduates made up 54 per cent of the total number of graduates at this graduation.
Since its establishment, the University has issued more than 60,000 qualifications, testifying to its foundational role in the tertiary education of USP’s member countries as noted by regional leaders.
Of the total number that graduated, women made up sixty-four (64) per cent of the graduates while twenty-eight (28) per cent graduated from Pacific TAFE with sub-degree and pathways qualifications, forty-two (42) per cent of students graduated from undergraduate programmes (certificates, diplomas and degrees), twenty (20) per cent received postgraduate certificates and diplomas, nine (9) per cent graduated with Master’s degree, while six (6) students graduated with PhD.
Students from eighteen (18) countries graduated, including ten (10) non-member countries, testifying to the growing international profile and attraction of USP.
Professor Chandra, while addressing the students graduating from FBE, congratulated them heartily for reaching the milestone they had today saying that their qualification will help them increase the chance of lifelong success anywhere in the world.
“Today, you really deserve to celebrate your hard work, sacrifice and perseverance. Remember to thank those who have supported you in your journey, your parents and families, sponsors, lecturers and tutors without whose support you would not have reached this far,” he added.
As part of his remarks, Professor Chandra took the opportunity to highlight some the achievements of the Faculty of Business and Economics, starting with a number of significant appointments at FBE.
He reported that Professor Anand Chand has been appointment as Head of School for the School of Management and Public Administration, Professor Stephen Pratt has been appointed as the Head for School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) and Professor Allen Matthews has been appointed as Professor of Development Studies in the School of Government, Development and International Affairs.
He added that Dr Sothea Oum has been appointed as Acting Director of Centre for Economic Policy and Modelling and the position is funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Professor Chandra further highlighted that STHM was successfully re-accredited by the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) in July 2018.
FBE, Professor Chandra said, has relaunched its flagship journal, The Journal of Pacific Studies.
“For the first time readers can access any article dating back to 1975. This repository has a very rich history of published work on the Pacific region,” Professor Chandra added.
In terms of FBE’s School of Agriculture and Food Technology (SAFT) based in Samoa, Professor Chandra reported that the School has had a high number of enrolments due to increasing interest of prospective students in agricultural programmes and continuing support from the governments of different Pacific Island Countries and its concentration on the agriculture sector.
Professor Chandra added that overall the FBE continues to attract the most number of students every year compared to the other two Faculties.
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