Celebrating 50 years of USP’s contribution to regional education - Solomon Star News

Celebrating 50 years of USP’s contribution to regional education

06 February 2018
His Excellency Jioji Kenrote, President of the Republic of Fiji and USP Chancellor (far right) shows contents from the Time Capsule during the launching of the USP's 50th Anniversary at Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji. [Photo: Mubeena Shaheed]

This year is a very important year for the University of the South Pacific (USP). USP is a member of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific.

2018 marks an important time for the University because it is celebrating its 50 years of inception.

Established in 1968, the USP is one of only two regionally owned universities in the world.

In USP’s case it is owned by 12 member countries - Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa.

His Excellency Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, President of the Republic of Fiji and USP Chancellor officially launched the University’s 50th Anniversary at its Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.

And it was highlighted the past fifty (50) years have been a period of tremendous change for USP and the young people today enjoy more opportunity in education than ever before in our history.

THE University of the South Pacific has a series of events earmarked for the year to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

On Monday, celebrations were launched with an opening of a time capsule containing important documents and letters from the university students and management in 1997.

Other events planned out for the year include memorials, travelling exhibitions, seminar series, library focus weeks, open days, quiz nights, and conferences and dinners.

As one of the members of the university, Solomon Islands has benefited alot through the educational programs being offered by the University.

Each year we have hundreds of our students undertaking studies via USP, both in the country and at a number of USP campuses around the pacific.

Currently the three of the main campuses are based in Laucala, Suva, Fiji, Alafua in Samoa and Emalus in Vanuatu. And we have students studying there.

There also mini-campuses in most of the regional member countries.

As part of USP’s expansion program, the next and fourth campus will be established in Honiara.

Ground-works are expected to start this year at the proposed site at the King George Sixth area, East Honiara.

The importance of having USP’s fourth campus here cannot be further stated.

Its important for Honiara to host this campus, given the increasing of enrollment by local students.

Solomon Islands recorded the second highest number of students at USP. Most of them travel out each year to Fiji to study.

The government expends a huge chunk of its education budget to send the students abroad.

Having the campus here would be a great saving for the nation. That saving could be used to educate more of our children right on our own turf.

An university campus here would also mean greater access and opportunities for those who want to attain tertiary level education.

Furthermore, having a fourth USP campus here would bring foreign exchange into our coffers.

Millions of dollars would be poured into the economy to build the campus.

Then we’ll have overseas students coming here to study and lecturers to teach.

They all bring money into the local economy.

So this is an investment of greater scale.

And it’s great to see this project attracting the support of USP, Honiara City Council, the national government, Guadalcanal Province.

Kicking off work this year is significant because it would coincide with the University’s anniversary celebration.

In Honiara, theres planned activities to be held as part of celebrating the university’s 50th year anniversary. Details are expected to be released later.

In the meantime, lets congratulate and thank USP for educating most of our human resources which have now contributed much to the development of this nation.

Happy 50th anniversary USP.