Unique Research Aids In Addressing Regional Challenges

The University of the South Pacific (USP) continues to maintain its uniqueness as the focal point of cross-cultural learning in the region, recognising each member countries’ unique cultural practices and traditions that can offer solutions to modern day predicaments.

With numerous challenges facing the Pacific in the 21st century, USP began mapping out ideas and effective solutions over a decade ago and acknowledged the cultural context in which they will be applied.

Since hosting an international conference in November of 2010 with the theme ‘Future Challenges, Ancient Solutions’, USP has examined the challenges confronting Pacific people including issues of resource management, food security, sustainable development, cultural transformation, leadership, and governance, and observed whether solutions were developed in the past in response to comparable challenges.

Recognising these issues, USP academics, staff and students over the decade focused their research to debunk these issues and find attainable solutions to be implemented in local communities regionally.

The research carried out in the past decade is unique to the Pacific and has contributed to the growth of the regional institute being recognised worldwide while offering real solutions.

It also allows students to gain cultural and cross-cultural awareness, develop a broad knowledge of the Pacific, and acquire a distinct set of research skills critical for engagement in the islands.

The uniqueness of USP is reflected in students learning diverse knowledge systems to assist in developing their own framework that can be applied to the study in their field of choice or topic related to Pacific culture and societies.

USP through its Pacific Studies adds value to many existing professions through the potential adoption of alternate or complementary perspectives to better understand the challenges facing the region, as well as developing novel approaches to seize opportunities that could benefit all members of our Pacific community.

Head of the School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE), Professor Sudesh Mishra said USP is committed to generating world-class research outcomes, including imaginative and artistic ones, of relevance to the people of Oceania.

“SPACE cultivates and celebrates the creative arts and knowledge systems of the South Pacific through its Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies,” Professor Mishra said.

He added that “SPACE offers unique multidisciplinary programme that brings theories and practices from the fields of Pacific Studies, Museology and Heritage Management.”

He said the programme ensures students develop a deeper understanding of the diversity of the Oceania region and appreciate its cultural and natural heritage and arts.

Meanwhile, USP’s admissions are now open. New applicants or those resuming studies can now apply for admission for Semester 1, 2023. For more information or academic counselling, visit a USP Campus near you or contact Student Administrative Services at asksas@usp.ac.fj

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