The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Samoa Campus celebrated the achievements of 270 students who graduated in a face-to-face graduation ceremony in Apia on Friday 12 August, 2022.
Of those who graduated, seventy-three per cent were women. Forty-two students also received two or three awards counted once under their highest award.
Of the 270 students, fifty-one per cent were from USP’s Pacific TAFE programmes and thirty per cent earned undergraduate certificates.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia highlighted that fifty Postgraduate certificates were awarded of which 30 had completed their Master’s.
“Students from eleven countries graduated in today’s Samoa graduation, including three non-member countries, testifying to the growing international profile and attraction of USP,” he said.
“Although COVID-19 is a deterrent to students completing their studies on time, these numbers signify that there is a strong desire to further education. USP will continue to ensure that the quality and excellence that is prevalent within our university are maintained, and we are committed to supporting students’ completion.”
Professor Ahluwalia also paid special tribute to the late Dr Esekia Solofa, a former Vice-Chancellor of USP.
“Dr Solofa was a pioneer who set many of the foundations for our university and it is a proud moment for us to recognise the many contributions of Dr Esekia Solofa,” he said.
Students were also encouraged to give a standing ovation to the parents, guardians, family and friends who supported them during their studies as well as to the hard-working staff.
Meanwhile, the graduation was a double celebration which saw Samoa’s Head of State, His Highness Afioga Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II officially take up the Chancellorship of USP.
It has been 12 years since Samoa last held the post.
This year, the Pro-Chancellor of USP, Hilda Heine from the Marshall Islands could not attend the ceremony to conduct the installation of the Chancellor due to Covid-19 restrictions, and the appointment was carried out by Samoa’s Minister of Education, Seuula Ioane Tuaau.
Niue held the latest chancellorship which ended on June 30.