Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council confers a certificate to a graduate.
A total of two hundred and thirty four (234) students of The University of the South Pacific (USP) successfully graduated in a ceremony at the Emalus Campus, Vanuatu on 30 November 2018.
Of the total, sixty per cent (60%) graduated with Undergraduate Programmes, fourteen per cent (14%) with Postgraduate Diplomas, five per cent (5%) with Masters Degrees, three per cent (3) with Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diplomas, and eighteen per cent (18%) from Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE).
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President, offered his warmest congratulations to the graduates, adding that the qualifications with which they graduated with would help them, their families and their country enormously in the future.
Commenting on female graduates that made fifty five per cent (55%) of the total, Professor Chandra said that the high proportion for women graduates is a positive indicator of gender equality, something that the region and the University are both committed to.
Speaking on the quality of education provided by the University, he stated that this year, USP had achieved institutional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior Commission on Universities and Colleges (WSCUC). He then added, that this also propelled the University onto the global stage, with USP now being recognised as having the same quality of education as American institutions that have been rigorously assessed to meet stringent American standards.
“All of you graduating today, therefore, can be proud of your qualifications and confident of their international standing,” Professor Chandra told the graduates.
Furthermore, Professor Chandra highlighted some of the significant achievements by the Emalus Campus this year, which included the teaching of non-law programmes at the Campus.
The University established the Vanuatu In-service Science Programme (VISP) at Emalus Campus in June this year with eighty nine (89) science teachers and ten (10) continuing students sponsored by the Government of Vanuatu, which will sponsor another cohort of freshman to join VISP from semester 1, 2019.
“We have received excellent support and commitment from the Vanautu Government, especially from the Honourable Minister of Education and Training for which we are very grateful,” Professor Chandra remarked.
In addition, Professor Chandra said that the In-Country Programme, which is offered by the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE), provides the opportunity for high school graduates to undertake the programme from their home campus and concurrently provides in-service degrees to the teachers and working students.
This results in savings in airfare, accommodation and living allowances given to full time sponsored students to study abroad as well as savings in the replacement of teachers since the programme is offered while teachers are still teaching.
He further stated that this year, the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) through its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme started a cohort of thirty five (35) students in the Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration (Human Resource Management).
After the completion of this programme at the end of this year, the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration Programme will then commence in trimester I next year with the students expected to finish in Trimester II 2019.
Professor Chandra then noted that the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) has also extended its teaching programme at Emalus beyond law, offering Graduate Certificate in Education in both French and English in normal semester modes as well as a in a cohort mode; full Bachelor of Education, as well as the full range of courses in Chinese language and culture, and Pacific Languages.
“The expansion in teaching our programmes in French reflects our serious commitment to addressing the learning requirements of the Francophone students, and this is an area that the university will need to keep expanding as we contribute to Vanuatu’s vision of a truly unified, cohesive multi-lingual country,” he said.
This year, the Emalus Campus saw the first graduation of students who have pursued Pacific TAFE programmes; Certificate IV in Office Management and Certificate IV in Project Management.
With reference to bandwidth capacity at Emalus Campus, Professor Chandra said that the Campus had increased its bandwidth capacity in December last year from 7 Mbps to 50 Mbps and it is expected to increase to 100 Mbps.
The Vanuatu Government, he stated has agreed to the University’s request to allow access to its e-Governance network and to the fibre network.
As the University celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Professor Chandra noted that a total of 1,689 students have graduated from USP, all of which are ni-Vanuatu alumni from the years 1968 to 2018, which is approximately four per cent (4%) of all the alumni that USP has.
An emotional Vice-Chancellor and President conveyed his warmest wishes to the Campus, as he commented that the graduation in Vanuatu was the final one for him at Emalus Campus as his term comes to an end, after serving the University for close to thirty nine (39) years.
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