The University of the South Pacific (USP) Tonga Campus Graduation ceremony yesterday was memorable as it reflected the domino effect of celebrating Pacific women, who made up 64 percent of the overall graduates.
Addressing the graduates, USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia emphasised that the university remains steadfast in delivering high-quality education, research and innovation.
“Over the last 55 years, USP has nurtured and continues to build strategic partnerships with key external stakeholders, including our development partners, regional organisations, other higher education providers across the globe, and international institutions to efficiently support the delivery of the university’s key mandate on facilitating quality learning, research, regional integration and capacity building.”
“We are continuously enhancing our services to our students and the wider region based on open and meaningful feedback to ensure that we deliver the best outcomes for our students and our communities through long-term partnerships with governments, other universities, and international organisations.”
While encouraging graduates, Professor Ahluwalia said, “I implore you never to settle for second best. All of us here are witnesses to your resilience and the fact that you can endure, you can overcome and achieve your goals no matter what.”
Yesterday’s graduation saw 175 students proudly walk across the stage to collect their qualifications, marking a significant achievement in their academic journey.
Of the 175 students, 43 percent received their undergraduate qualifications, and 13 percent of the overall number conferred their postgraduate qualifications.
The USP Vice-Chancellor also acknowledged the 10 students who graduated with their masters, for which seven by course work and three by thesis.
Professor Ahluwalia reiterated that the determination, perseverance and resilience of the students who struggled to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic showcase the strength of ‘our USP students that they can achieve whatever they set their minds on.”
USP, the premier institute in the Pacific, also recognises the “sacrifices, commitment and untiring support at home and in the background from parents and guardians that paved the path to a brighter future for their children.”