The University of the South Pacific Tonga Campus staff are thrilled to begin the year and have the Acting Vice Chancellor and President, and Deputy Vice Chancellor Regional Campuses and Global Engagements, Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Paunga working from the island Kingdom.
Campus Director Dr Robin Havea said, “we are very pleased that for the first time, we have an Acting Vice Chancellor working from our USP Tonga Campus as in usual practice, the Acting Vice Chancellor would only be based out of the Laucala Campus in Fiji.”
“Acting VCP Paunga was able to meet with all our staff and we also provided him with a tour of the Tonga Campus, and he got to see first-hand, what the facilities are like here in Tonga as Dr Paunga is also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Regional Campuses, Dr Havea added.
He said that some staff were able to raise some important issues regarding the welfare of the staff and also highlight possible ways to improve certain areas in the service that USP Tonga Campus provides to the students and general public.
Dr Robin Havea also said, “it is indeed a great opportunity to have Dr Paunga here with us in Tonga, he is able to visit family after a lapse of more than three years because of COVID-19 and visit and work from the USP Tonga Campus for a while.”
“It was like a homecoming for Dr Paunga, and we are also proud of his achievements within USP,” he added.
Meanwhile, the USP Tonga Campus Director Dr Robin Havea and Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Giulio Paunga also paid a courtesy call to the Tonga Prime Minister, Honourable Hu’akavemeiliku Siaosi Sovaleni.
Honourable Hu’akavemeiliku also serves as the Minister of Education and Training Minister for Police, Fire Services, and Emergency Services, and Minister for His Majesty’s Armed Forces, are among his other portfolio assignments.
The courtesy visit was to show the partnership and collaboration between USP and the government of Tonga.
Dr Havea said, “it’s a new year, the visit was to show support to the government of Tonga’s initiatives and also asking for their support as well.”
“The focus really was to ensure that the ties and the partnership is there and also as USP is partially owned by the government of Tonga, the visit is to see if they have any special needs or anything they prefer for us to provide as service for the students and the general public,” he added.
The courtesy visit also served as a formal greeting and an exchange of information where the Tonga Prime Minister, Honourable Hu’akavemeiliku expressed his continued support towards the regional university.
Meanwhile, on Thursday 12 January and Friday 13 January, 2023 the Campus Director Dr Havea together with the Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Paunga are visiting two other USP facilities at the Ha’apai Centre and Vava’u Centre respectively.