USP Cook Islands Campus

Excellence in uniquely Pacific learning and innovation for the sustainable development of Pacific Islands people

Welcome to The University of the South Pacific Cook Islands Campus

The University of the South Pacific (USP) opened on the 5th of February 1968 at Laucala Bay in Suva. A brief opening ceremony was held at 8:45am and 15 minutes later staff were administering tests for the University’s first intake of 160 students. These first students came from Fiji, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Tonga, British Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Gilbert and Ellice Islands (subsequently Kiribati and Tuvalu), New Hebrides (later Vanuatu), Niue, Tokelau and the United States Trust Teritory.

Today the University has 14 Campuses around the region, namely in Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The USP Cook Islands Centre was officially established in 1975 under the directorship of Mr. Neville Pearson and housed at the Public Health building in Tupapa, Rarotonga. At this time the Centre was linked to the main USP Campus at Laucala using the Peacesat satellite service.

The current campus building was opened at Takamoa in 1979 and extended in 2012. The majority of the study done through Cook Islands Campus is via “distance flexible learning”. Flexible learning at USP is nothing new. Its distributed nature requires the University to engage in open and flexible approaches to learning which it has done since its inception.

Flexible learning is a state of being in which learning and teaching is increasingly freed from the limitations of the time, place and pace of study.

The need for flexible approaches to learning and teaching at USP has been growing lately out of the inability of conventional campus based educational practices to meet the growing demands for access to educational opportunity in the region. Increasingly large numbers of students both from those who are on campus and those who are at a distance from it are choosing to study by flexible learning. The regional nature of USP and the very real challenges of having students scattered over vast geographical distances led the University to be a pioneer in the mode since the early 1970’s.

“I was able to transfer or cross credit what I’d already done [at Massey University] to here [USP]. The Masters programme in New Zealand was very much New Zealand focused whereas USP had a much more international focus. I felt like the degree that I earned here [at USP] was far more valuable.”

Hon Mark Brown, Cook Islands Prime Minister

Whats new?

The Government of the Cook Islands has launched a new initiative in support of those wishing to undertake full-time undergraduate degree studies with the University of the South Pacific (USP) Cook Islands Campus in Rarotonga. This initiative commences in Semester 1, 2024.

Who is eligible? Any Cook Islander, Permanent Resident of the Cook Islands or resident in the Cook Islands as recognized by the Ministry of Education Domestic Fees Guideline enrolled full time at USP Cook Islands Campus for the first year of study in an undergraduate programme. Applicants must:

  1. Show proof of acceptance into the programme
  2. Be able to provide enrolment confirmation of a minimum of three courses per semester
  3. Must adhere to the University’s academic and conduct policies to maintain their eligibility
  4. To maintain eligibility students must also make satisfactory academic progress

What is the Application Process? Students must apply for admission to USP and once admitted submit their completed FYFF application to no later than 12 noon 15 December 2023

Thanks to Vodafone Cook Islands USP is giving away a brand new HP ProBook (plus bag) and a wireless Logitech mouse for one lucky student. Any student who applies to study with USP Cook Islands Campus in Semester 1, 2024 goes into the draw. How great is that?! A big meitaki maata and pokarakara to our sponsors Vodafone Cook Islands!

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