Students from The University of the South Pacific (USP) emerged as victors of the Inter-tertiary Quiz Competition organised by the High Commissioner of India and India Fiji Friendship Forum last Saturday (September 16, 2023).
Hosted at the USP Laucala Campus’ Japan ICT Centre, the competition featured participants from the host university and the other local universities: Fiji National University (FNU) and University of Fiji (UniFiji).
With its second year running, this year’s Inter-tertiary Quiz Competition was centred on the theme’ Youth Leadership Contest’, where team USP clenched victory after settling as runner-up last year.
Team USP fielded four teams during the competition, all of which qualified from their group and made it to the final round, while the other two spots in the final were taken up by UniFiji, who settled as runner-up this year.
While opening the Youth Leadership Contest, Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Biman Prasad, said, “The government’s focus on youth development is evident through various initiatives, including a $50 million allocation to support children from preschool to high school, the write-off of $650 million in Tertiary Education Loans (TEL) debt benefiting nearly 53,000 students, and the establishment of a merit-based scholarship scheme.”
He added, “Fiji has faced challenges in its labour market, with approximately 10% of the workforce lost in the last 18 months. To address this issue, the government aims to provide opportunities for young Fijians worldwide and encourages their return with fresh ideas, innovations, and new perspectives.”
Hon. Prasad said such competition will significantly benefit USP and Pacific students to better understand the region’s challenges and the need for proper leadership in various areas of development.
USP’s winning participant, Ritavik Maisuria, a first-year Bachelor of Commerce student, said, “After witnessing the level of competition that the students from other universities had put up, I did not expect to win, but I am pleased and thrilled. My teammate and I attempted the quiz with no expectations because we knew that the competition would be very tough and it would be difficult to get through the rounds, especially competing with such brilliant minds, but our hard work finally paid off, and I was overwhelmed.”
Another participant from the winning USP team, Shruti Parmar, added, “I feel blessed to have won against some of the best students in their respective fields, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the almighty’s grace. It brought back the feeling I used to get after winning any inter-school competitions back in high school, and it was amazing!”
This quiz competition also featured distinguished guests such as the Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency P.S. Karthigeyan, members of India’s Space Agency, USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Giulio Paunga, Acting
Head of School for Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP) Professor MGM Khan, Head of School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences, Dr Surendra Prasad, amongst other stakeholders.
The competition also emphasised that academic achievement remains a cornerstone of personal growth; it is equally essential for our students to learn real-world skills beyond the classroom.