A thanksgiving programme was held yesterday at the Japan Pacific ICT Lecture Theatre to commemorate The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) achievement in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2022.
USP submitted data for the following United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in November 2021 for the 2022 rankings: SDG17: Partnership for the Goals; SDG 4: Quality Education; SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 13: Climate Action; SDG 14: Life Below Water and SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
The results revealed USP’s overall score of 70 out of 100 and an Overall Rank of 401-600 out of 1406 institutions.
During his welcoming address, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Education, Professor Jito Vanualailai said this was another historical milestone for USP and he was exceptionally proud of USP being recognised globally for its quality education.
“We know we are working in a university comparable to any in the Global North. USP’s certificates have become more valuable and more competitive for current students and alumni,” he added.
“We are working to strengthen and expand the Pacific region’s education sector.”
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, acknowledged the presence of guests at the ceremony.
He said he was delighted with the ranking and that it was a fantastic accomplishment.
“It reflects the resilience and strength of our university and our people. It is the real testament of what we have achieved and what we have the potential to achieve,” added Professor Ahluwalia.
He said the Impact Rankings were in line with two other remarkable results; WURI ranking, where USP was ranked 11th in Crisis Management by the World Universities with Real Impact (WURI) 2021 and being in the top 10% of the THE World University Rankings.
The THE Impact Ranking was created to demonstrate an institution’s research, outreach, and leadership in delivering against the SDGs; a brilliant blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future.
Professor Ahluwalia added the THE Impact Ranking was not about chasing the ranking but about external validation of what USP was doing, what the strategy was, and how the university served its people.
“We continue to strive to do better. This is an outstanding result and an excellent recognition of the hard work done by our researchers, alumni, staff, and students,” he emphasised.
Samuel Barton, a student from the USP Marshall Islands Campus, spoke on behalf of USP’s Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Honourable Dr Hilda Heine, who stated that as Pacific Island countries work towards achieving their priorities under the SDGs, higher education institutions must provide practical, high-quality education, research, and outreach across the region to assist national states.
President of Nauru, His Excellency Lionel Aingimea, said that USP’s recognition by the world’s foremost ranking organisation was an outstanding achievement which made the people of Nauru and the Pacific incredibly proud.
Respective USP student representatives issued congratulatory statements on behalf of the governments of Samoa, Tuvalu and Niue.
The Minister of Education, Sports, and Culture of the Independent State of Samoa, Honourable Seuula Ioone Tuaau said the ranking was a testament to the hard work of the staff, students, USP community and donor partners.
He said the government and the People of Samoa shared a long history with the University of the South Pacific that began with its establishment 54 years ago and will continue into the future.
The government of Tuvalu said that USP had educated many talented Tuvaluans and produced many leaders in the community.
The Premier of Niue, Hon. Dalton Tagelagi said Niue recognised the United Nations’ SDGs and their importance to the region particularly climate change and climate action. The Premier also added it was pleasing to see USP ranked for playing a critical role in the region.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Regional Campuses and Global Engagement), Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Pāunga thanked everyone for their support and encouragement.
Dr Paunga added that the statements delivered demonstrated the goodwill shown in how the University was being led.
“Now you have placed your trust in us to strengthen, encourage, and prepare future generations,” he said.