Sixty Six (66) graduates of The University of the South Pacific
(USP) were proud recipients of gold medals and prizes when it held its annual Medals and Prizes Ceremony at the Japan – Pacific ICT Multi-Purpose Theatre at Laucala Campus
on 24 September. Chief Guest, Pro-Chancellor, Mr Winston Thompson presented the medals and Prizes together with the sponsors in each category.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Jito Vanualailai, welcomed the guests that included the Pro-Chancellor Mr Winston Thompson, sponsors, family and friends of the recipients, members of the Diplomatic Corp and Senior Management of USP.
This year there were 5 more categories of prizes than previous years because of a record number of high achievers. There were 45 categories in total indicating a high number of students excelling in their chosen fields of study.
Three graduates received the Vice-Chancellor and President’s All-Rounder prize for the best combined academic performance and record service to the community. Krisneil Prasad and Branesh Prakash won the male category and Vishalini Pritika Chand in the female category.
USP also saw a record number of females (41) receive an award this year. USP is continually working towards advancing and promoting gender equality in the work place and see talented women progress leadership roles they desire, with deserved remuneration.
Of the 66 recipients, forty-one (41) were from Fiji, twenty-one (21) from USP’s regional member countries, and four (4) international students from Nigeria, PNG, Bangladesh, and the United States of America. The twenty-one regional member students were from Vanuatu (4), Solomon Islands (4), Tonga (7) and Samoa (5).
Thirty eight (38) awardees were sponsored under various scholarship schemes such as the National Toppers Scheme; Tertiary Education and Loan Scheme (TELS); Australian Awards Pacific Scholarship; Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment
Graduate Assistant scholarship; Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research and Innovation and USP’s staff sponsorship scheme.
In honouring the high achievers, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President said that the 66 graduates were a testament of the Pacific region’s richness of intelligent and talented individuals who have the drive and capability to excel anywhere in the world.
“These awards are, but a small tribute to honoring your hard work, dedication, and accomplishments in your respective fields of study. Each one of you here tonight has been chosen purely on merit and we are proud that you all are excellent ambassadors of this University and your country and will remain so in the future,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor further added, “The road to excellence requires hard work, dedication, focus, ambition, commitment, and countless sacrifices. It is not an easy path. Our young achievers have shown us that anything is possible if one has the right mind-set, attitude, and inspiration to achieve one’s goals.”
He also congratulated the parents, guardians, spouses, families, and friends, for providing the awardees such a strong foundation to excel, adding that it was a proud occasion for them as well.
Sponsors for all categories were also greatly acknowledged and Professor Pal highlighted that the partnership between the private sector and USP has seen greater collaboration with students gaining practical knowledge and research opportunities with the best organisations in the region.
Corporate sponsors funded 34 awards for this event. The Event’s sponsors were Post Fiji, Westpac, ANZ, Vinod Patel, Fiji Sun, Formscaff, Tana Plaza Pharmacy – Vanuatu, Neerus Pharmacy- Tonga, Superdrug Pharmacy, Marsh Ltd, Printhouse , Quality Print , Five Squares, Credit Corp , Fiji Institute of Accountants, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), KPMG, Total Designs, Fiji Development Bank, Tanoa Hotel Group, IXOM, Vodafone Fiji Ltd, Datec Fiji, Tropical Garments, Fuji Xerox Business Centre, GEM Office Products, Telecom Fiji Limited, Energy Fiji Limited (EFL), Core Builders, Lodhias Travel Centre, Communications Fiji Limited and Gremm Chemicals.