Last Friday (May 5, 2023), two hundred ninety-one graduates received their qualifications from The University of the South Pacific (USP) Emalus Campus in Vanuatu, of which 59 per cent were female.
Officiating at the graduation ceremony, USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia took a moment to pay tribute to the “extraordinary resilience demonstrated by our students, parents and guardians, and the entire people of Vanuatu in the aftermath of the two Category 4 cyclones that affected the country in March this year.”
The number of female graduates totalled 170 compared to 121 males, with the highest overall number of graduates being those who completed their Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees.
The Emalus Campus graduation also saw 30 students receive their Postgraduate Diplomas, nine Masters by coursework in the field of Business Administration, Commerce in Management & Public Administration, Education and Laws, and three Masters by thesis in the Arts field in Geography and Marine Science.
While congratulating all graduating students, the Vice-Chancellor stated, “Our students have faced many challenges and hurdles. This cohort of students has endured the COVID pandemic and been part of the University, which has faced some of its most difficult times over its 55-year history.
“If that was not enough, they have had their studies interrupted by the recent cyclones. Your sheer determination and perseverance in working towards your goals are highly commendable. I also want to recognise the support of our Emalus Campus staff and Vanuatu for their exemplary support in the face of adversity; the USP family applauds all of you.”
The Emalus Campus graduation was special as it allowed our Vice-Chancellor to visit Vanuatu after a lapse of three years.
It also marks the pinnacle of academic life for our graduating students who have completed an important phase of their career and are now ready to embark on a new journey of fulfilment to practice and apply their acquired knowledge.
Professor Ahluwalia “Urged everyone to take inspiration from these extraordinary students who are making a real difference in our communities and globally. We are part of a community that values hard work, determination, and perseverance and are witnessing that together, we can overcome unimaginable challenges.”
He highlighted that the visionary foundation laid down by the Pacific forebearers has made USP the greatest success story of regional cooperation, where the richness of diversity of experiences has formed the foundation of hope and choice.
Professor Ahluwalia further stressed that USP has been and continues to be a bedrock for regionalism, “A resource owned by the region; for the region and a precious institution that needs to be protected in line with the vision of our forebearers.”
The Vice-Chancellor also encouraged graduates to exemplify excellence, embrace innovation, uphold the highest ethical standards and operate with integrity, respect all, and celebrate diversity.