The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) programme at the University of the South Pacific has received final approval by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
The WSCUC is an institutional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutes throughout California, Hawaii and the Pacific as well as a selected number of institutions outside the US. WSCUC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a reliable authority concerning the quality of education provided by member institutions of higher education offering the associate degree, baccalaureate degree and post-baccalaureate degrees
Receiving this approval by WSCUC signifies that the Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) programme is keeping with the WSCUC Standards of Accreditation.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Dr Giulio Paunga thanked the Head of School of Information, Technology, Engineering, Mathematica and Physics (STEMP), Professor Maurizio Cirrincione, Dr Kabir Mamun and Dr Sumesh Narayan as well as STEMP staff for the work put in by them to get the programme WSCUC approved.
“The approval process was a two-year review to ensure that our engineering degree programme meets defined standards, said Professor Cirrincione. “We collated data and met local stakeholders from industry and public institutions regularly before applying to WSCUC for approval.”
WSCUC through its work of peer reviewing encourages continuous institutional improvement to ensure its members and the public that accredited institutions are fulfilling their missions in service to their students and the public good in compliance with US and international standards.
“An approved engineering degree offers students and employers an important mark of assurance that the programme meets the high standards set by the engineering profession, says Dr Sumesh Narayan, Senior Lecturer at STEMP.
The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) is a 4-year programme. Currently about 500 students are enrolled in the program of Civil Engineering at USP. “The first batch will be graduating in 2022 which will give them the possibility to receive professional membership from the Fiji Institute of Engineers (FIE) or other such professional bodies overseas,” says Dr Kabir Mamun, another Senior Lecturer at STEMP.
The USP engineering programme is well placed in the region as STEMP has also produced high quality research papers in international journals and STEMP can claim to be equal to other Universities in some areas of engineering.
STEMP has also produced some very high level staff who are now teaching or conducting research in other universities or research institutions either abroad or within the Region, contributing to capacity building. Moreover, there are numerous engineering alumni serving important roles in several industries nationally and globally.
The USP 4 –year Civil Engineering degree programme specialises in structural engineering, water resource engineering, geotechnical engineering, road and transport engineering.
In 2022 STEMP will apply, through FIE and facilitated by the Engineering New Zealand, to have the Civil Engineering programme accredited under the Washington Accord. This will give students the possibility to have a degree equivalent to that awarded in New Zealand or Australia. Currently STEMP offers programmes of Electrical and Electronics Engineering as well as Mechanical Engineering already accredited under the Washington Accord.