After years of discussions, a false start, and so on, the green light has finally been given for the Solomon Islands to host the 4th Campus of the University of the South Pacific – a very important national project.
Construction work will soon begin.
China’s State-owned Enterprise (SOE), China Harbour Engineering (CHE), has been awarded the multi-million dollar project. Although it is a big enterprise in China, CHE has left some dents on a number of projects it undertook in the Port City of Lae, Papua New Guinea. It was also funded by the ADB.
A lot of questions remain unanswered.
In terms of the USP 4th Campus, the project will be funded using a $15.4 million concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)as well as a grant of $1.5 million to be administered by ADB.
Published reports provide a bird’s eye view of what the new campus entails.
The USP Honiara Campus will provide additional classrooms, an ICT studio, science laboratories, as well as faculty and administrative facilities with a solar-powered system that will provide 75 percent of the campus’s energy needs.
ADB has said that this will enhance ICT-based education, improve student services, and help strengthen USP governance and management. An anchor student program in public health is being planned, as well as a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The new campus will also offer technical and vocational education and training.
This is really wonderful. The lingering question for all is the depressed job market in Solomon Islands. Hundreds of students would soon complete their studies both here and abroad.
Sadly, there is nothing for them to return to in terms of employment. One would only hope the government’s redirection policy is very much aware of this.
If the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) is the first sign of the redirection policy, then there is little hope out there for new graduates.