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USP Rewards Volunteers

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Ms Emily King, Head of Legal & Compliance Westpac Banking Corporation presents the award to Niraj Singh.

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Campus Life Section successfully hosted an awards night for the First Year Experience Buddy Programme on 28 September 2019.

A major highlight of the programme was the 2019 Buddy of the Year Award which was sponsored by Wesptac Banking Corporation and as part of the award, the winner, Niraj Singh.

Westpac Banking Corporation Fiji sponsored the Westpac Buddy of the Year Award for the third year in a row. This Award is presented to the most outstanding Buddy of the year. As part of the Award, the recipient receives an all-expense paid attachment to an overseas University to get international university experience.

The Buddy Programme is a non-academic peer to peer assisted programmed designed to assist the first year students’ transition well to the new university environment, and adjust better to Suva generally.

The FYE Buddy Programme has been a great success and received numerous positive feedbacks from various stakeholders. The programme is supported by Vodafone Fiji and Westpac Fiji.

Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Chief Guest of the Awards Night said that with thousands of students that start their university life each year, it can become quite a task to reach out to each and every one and added that this is where the buddies come in to help.

“The work that you do is priceless, but tonight is one way we get to thank you for your hard work and loyalty to the programme,” Professor Coll said.

“You as students should take advantage of the various services and activities we provide for you and volunteering in a programme like this will help your employability, and reward you with a great deal of experience, and help you make lifelong friendships,” he told the buddies at the award.

“You are an important asset in ensuring that first year students complete their first year smoothly and it is also a great way to build your CV and experience,” he added.

Professor Coll said that he was updated on the progress of the Buddies every now and then, and commended the level of professionalism shown by the volunteers Buddy Programme.

Niraj, while receiving his award said that it was a bonus and an added motivation.

Niraj hails is the second recipient of the Award to hail from Rakiraki and said that he was pleased that he was making his raising the profile of his small town.

“I like to help other students and think all students should do the same and help their peers. I haven’t been overseas so am really excited about my university trip. I will get to learn how things are done there and implement the same when I’m back,” Niraj said.

There were a total of 181 Buddies and twenty (20) received outstanding Certificates. 

This news item was published on 30 Sep 2019 11:59:51 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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