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Opening of Outreach Commons in Davuilevu and Walu Bay

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Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Pal Ahluwalia at the opening of Outreach Commons in Davuilevu.

It was a huge achievement for The University of the South Pacific (USP) as it opened its two Outreach Commons in Davuilevu and Walu Bay on 5 August.

The Outreach Commons provides an alternative space for students to access the teaching, learning, and research systems offered by the university. Students residing close to these Commons will now be able to access these facilities without having to travel to Laucala Campus.

In Semester 1, during restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, USP closely monitored student participation and engagement on moodle. USP's call center team recorded a small percentage of students inactive due to a lack of steady internet connectivity and personal computers/laptops. USP then decided to bring access to USP services closer to the home of students through these two facilities, including full access to USP WiFi and network.

Apart from this, the Outreach Commons will also provide an alternative space for USP such as Library outreach, enrollment drive, and marketing campaigns.

Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Pal Ahluwalia with school principals and USP Staff and Students at the opening of Outreach Commons in Davuilevu.

Professor Jito Vanualailai, The Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education welcomed the school principals, staff and students of USP and thanked everyone for availing their time for the opening of two of USP’s Outreach Commons.

He said that the Outreach Commons is yet another of the University's innovative projects, keeping in mind the wellbeing of our students, at a time when we are all trying to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated changes in how USP conducts its academic activities this academic year to ensure learning and teaching continues without significant interruption to the progress of students. Specific academic regulations have been amended to enable an adjusted learning environment so that these changes do not adversely affect the student learning outcomes,” he said.

“It is without a doubt clear that the period March 2020 to date are indeed unprecedented times that have called for an unprecedented level of mitigation in terms of Health, Safety and Security within USP both here in Fiji and at its campuses in our member countries.”

Prof Jito mentioned that along with the focus on revamping Online Conference Services, came the need to support and supplement Teaching and Learning services – primarily through the provisioning of infrastructure services for Moodle and related supplementary tools. 

Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Pal Ahluwalia extended his appreciation to all the guests present in Hexagon Building, Davuilevu, and Food court, Walu Bay.

He said the University is very fortunate because it is at least able to conduct a few face to face classes when most Universities have to contend with holding online classes only.

(right) Professor Stephen Pratt, School of Tourism and Hospitality and Professor Jito Vanualailai, The Acting Deputy Vice- Chancellor Education at the opening of Outreach Commons in Walu Bay.

He said that the Outreach Commons is an innovative response to the global crisis that has affected the world.

He added that semester 1 progressed well following the challenges brought on by COVID-19 as the University drew upon its 30 plus years of experience for flexible learning and teaching to guarantee education continuity for the rest of the Semester, including online assessments and examinations.

Prof Ahluwalia said that the USP team brought its knowledge together and was able to respond effectively to ensure students get quality education and access facilities nearer to their homes.

He assured the students and principals that these facilities have enhanced the quality of education and encouraged students to use the facilities.
 


This news item was published on 10 Aug 2020 10:15:04 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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