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996 students graduate from University of South Pacific

University of South Pacific (USP) continues to showcase the quality and relevance of its programmes, which sets it apart from others through internationally recognised accreditations.

This was highlighted by the USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra during his welcoming address at the second Laucala Campus graduation ceremony for 2016. So far, 16 programmes of the University have received international accreditations.

A total of 996 students graduated during this event which was officiated by USP's newly installed 23rd Chancellor and the Prime Minister of Cook Islands Honourable Henry Puna.  The ceremony was attended by the USP Pro Chancellor Mr Winston Thompson, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Chandra, members of the University Senior Management team, diplomats, Government officials, staff, students, graduates, their families and well-wishers.

Professor Chandra noted that 64 per cent of all graduates were females; (up by nine (9) per cent from April 2015) and 22 per cent or 223 students are from the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE), marking exceptionally fast expansion of Pacific TAFE.

He further highlighted that about 47 per cent of the students have graduated in undergraduate programmes and 30 per cent in Post graduate programmes of which about nine (9) per cent have done Masters by either thesis or coursework.

“I am also pleased to announce that there are three (3) students graduating with PhD’s, two (2) of whom are from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment and one from the Faculty of Arts, Law, and Education,” Professor Chandra said.

“There are 20 graduates from 11 non-member countries that include Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Guyana, India, Japan, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, and the USA.”

Professor Chandra told the graduating students that graduations mark the start of a new and wonderful journey in life ahead growing from the seeds you have sowed during your period at the University.

“You are now equipped with the tools that will help you forge a future for yourself – a future of immense possibilities—and a future that you will make with your own efforts,” Professor Chandra said.

Professor Chandra advised the graduates to take the cue from the magnificent Rugby Seven’s gold medal performance at the Rio Olympics and be the best one can be through hard work, perseverance, innovation and commitment.

“As the Honourable Prime Minister of Fiji said on Monday, our players showed the world how sevens rugby should be played. Our players mesmerized the whole world with their magic. A small country with less than one million people, with limited resources showed that it can be the best in the world,” Professor Chandra said.

“You too have the capability to truly excel—and achieve anything in the world.”

Professor Chandra made special acknowledgement USP’s very own Pasifika Voices, which recently recorded the choral components of the whole animated production Moana.

“This recording by Walt Disney demonstrates that our music and arts programmes produce world-class talent.  It is a historic moment for our local talent that our singers & artists are recognized in Hollywood at the highest level,” Professor Chandra added.

“Pasifika Voices has been a major part of our graduations for the past 10 years and is made up of students from all around the region and led by exceptionally talented staff.”

The University has continued to make progress with further improvements to its regional campuses with renovations to the Long Island hotel to convert it to the new Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Campus and developments are on track for the new Solomon Islands Campus.

“The Nauru Learning Village Phase 2 ground breaking was carried out by the Australian High Commissioner and the Minister of Education on 11th August. Our new Centre will be part of this new learning village and we are excited by this new development. We thank both the Government of Nauru and Australia for this new development,” Professor Chandra said.

Professor Chandra took this opportunity to invite everyone to USP’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, which will be in 2018

“We plan to mark this milestone with significant events and legacies and I invite you all to be part of this exciting event in 2018 that will celebrate our achievements and regionality, and secure our future as a world-class university that our leaders, the Pacific people, and our partners can take genuine pride in.”

Source: USP

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