Vice Chancellor concerned with state of campus buildings

The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pal Ahluwalia has expressed concern at the condition of buildings at the U.S.P. Alafua Campus.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer in a recent interview, he said that some of the buildings need to be maintained and renovated.

“Since I took over on January 2 my most concern is the state of the campus. I think some of the buildings have been left and not repaired – our accommodation is not up to standard. 

“We have a very good global brand USP, and these things hurt our brand. Our vice president for regional campuses (states and infrastructure) has already been here, we sent a senior member from Fiji two weeks ago here, who has been looking at the whole campus, and told me serious things to be attended too. 

“I have asked for a budget to be prepared in presented to my senior management team so that we can start addressing the places where things are not going right, and substantially invest in making things right,” he said. 

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Prof. Pal also said that they hope to fix the campus this year. 

“But the academic provision in USP is very good right up to our doctorate students, and I have a fairly good confidence in the standard. 

“Our students are doing well, if you enroll at this campus, not only do you get the benefit of the academic staff here, but of course our campuses are in 12 different countries.

“And our students have the opportunity to study wherever courses are taught, sometimes they are taught online, there is always support online, because at the end of the day we want to make sure that our students succeed,” he added.

Prof. Pal also added that it is not an easy programme, but the university cannot compromise on quality, and they had to make sure that the necessary remedial skills for students who are finding it difficult are provided. 

“I also acknowledge the tremendous support from the Government of Samoa; they’ve been supportive in what we are doing. They’ve been supportive of my leadership.

“USP is putting more effort into student support to make sure that when students come to study here they don’t fail. 

“That’s one of our priorities and we have to revise our strategic plan, which will really emphasize support for students and regional campuses.”

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