Staff and students of The University of the South Pacific (USP) are pleased with the opportunity to contribute to consultations to the University’s draft Strategic Plan (SP) which has been touted as staff and student-centric.
The University has maintained students as its priority since its existence which is also evident in its SP including a focus on its five Priority Areas (PA) – Education; Research, innovation & partnerships; Regional campuses & global engagement; Regional cooperation and engagement and Governance & intelligent use of resources.
Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Manager Development Cooperation, Iresh Lal said he participated in the webinar where discussions were focused on enhancing the SP for the next triennium (2022-2024).
He said staff provided valuable insights and shared their expectations on what the next SP should include in terms of the vision, mission, values, priorities, objectives, and initiatives that ought to guide the University.
“Staff and students as key internal stakeholders of USP, had the opportunity to provide their specific inputs and suggestions into the respective Priority Area objective and initiatives via the Moodle platform. I found this approach consultative and inclusive which generates a sense of belongingness and ownership for staff and students towards USP,” Mr Lal said.
He relates to the SP as an effective tool that guides the work of the University in areas of delivering quality learning and teaching, facilitating research relevant to the needs of the Pacific Islands Countries, capacity building and fostering regionalism.
Postgraduate Diploma student in Diplomacy and International Affairs, Aneet Kumar said the SP discussions created excitement, and they felt a sense of ownership. He is also the USP Students Association’s Deputy Secretary-General.
Aneet said that the SP is making our University resilient in the face of an ever-changing global environment.
“The consultations that have already taken place and the ones continuing signifies that the SP is not just another document; it is a living document that we all are putting together,” he added.
“Priority Areas 3 and 4 caught my attention given that we have always been trying to solve the issue of equity amongst our campuses, and partnerships play an important role in making our research programs and quality of education world-class, relevant and sustainable.”
Aneet said that “in finding a sustainable solution on the equity of our services amongst campuses and making USP a global player, USP needs to enhance its regional cooperation and engagement portfolio with member countries, development partners and other agencies in the region and beyond”.
He emphasised that the SP had created interlinks across the priority areas which needs to continue at the implementation phase.
“Close coordination and regular dialogue need to continue with the relevant sections and those leading the SP’s implementation so that we can learn the challenges and opportunities together.”
Bachelor of Commerce (double majors in Economics and Finance) student, Ashmita Jiteshni Lal said the SP was impressive as the University focuses on making its services even more accessible to a greater number of Pacific Islanders and global citizens.
She said that some initiatives caught her eye, for example, the University’s initiative in developing and implementing management plans to address health, wellness and safety, anti-sexual harassment and anti-bullying, including anti-cyber bullying. These were some of the initiatives which needed to be implemented.
The week-long consultation concluded today.