About the University

USP – An Introduction

The University of the South Pacific is a uniquely placed centre of excellence in a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity.

Established in 1968, USP is the only university of its type in the world. It is jointly owned by the governments of 12 island countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Western Samoa. Students from all these countries attend the University and staff, buildings and programs are located in all the countries. The main campus, Laucala, is in Fiji. There is a second campus, Alafua, in Western Samoa where the School of Agriculture is situated, and a third, Emalus, in Vanuatu where the School of Law operates. There are smaller University Campuses in eleven of the twelve member countries.

A strong outreach program through Distance and Flexible Learning serves USP Campuses throughout the region.

Pioneering communications techniques are used to reach distance education students across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean.

The multi-cultural nature of the staff and student body give USP an exceptional character. It is a quality institution producing degrees comparable to those awarded by universities in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Graduates from USP are found in important executive positions throughout the public and private sectors in all member countries.

The University has set a high standard for quality in its research. Major research commitments include business management, teacher education, Pacific studies, marine studies, agriculture, science and technology.

The University Region

The University of the South Pacific Region spreads across 33 million square kilometres of ocean, an area more than three times the size of Europe. In contrast, the total land mass is about equal to the area of Denmark. Populations vary in size from Tokelau with 1600 people to Fiji with 750,000. The total population is about 1.3 million.

International airlines flying routes between Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States link a number of the island countries. There are also airlines which service the region. Within countries, inter-island shipping is used to reach smaller islands without air services. Cargo vessels, but few passenger ships, ply between island groups and the main Pacific trading nations.

Because of its strategic position and facilities, USP attracts eminent scholars and staff from throughout the world.

University Administration

USP is governed by its own Council, which includes representatives of the member country governments, academic staff, students, community and business leaders, the Forum Secretariat, the South Pacific Commission, the American Council of Education, the Privy Council, Australia and New Zealand.

The Senate is the academic authority of the University, responsible for matters such as teaching and research.

The Council and the Senate are served by committees working in such areas as Finance and General Purposes, Resource Management, Staff Review, Academic Planning and Distance Education. Other committees deal with special projects and the day to day work of the University.

The ceremonial head of the University is the Chancellor. USP’s Chancellors have been drawn from the leaders of the South Pacific member nations and include Prime Ministers, Presidents and Heads of State. The Pro-Chancellor is Chairman of Council and the executive head of the University is the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor is assisted by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and three Pro Vice-Chancellors.

The Registrar is responsible for administration and the Director, Finance is concerned with control of University finances. The Director of Planning and Development plans the use of the University’s financial and human resources; the Director of Physical Planning and Facilities is responsible for maintenance and development of the physical plant and the Provost is responsible for the welfare of the University community. In total, USP employs more than 1300 staff.

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