Graduation highlights Samoa’s contribution

The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) has produced 1,506 Samoan alumni from 1968 to 2018, which is 3.2 percent of all the university’s alumni. 

This is according to the university’s Vice Chancellor, Rajesh Chandra, who was speaking during the Alafua campus graduation ceremony yesterday. 

“At the same time, 2001 qualifications have been awarded to Samoan students since 1968 out of a total of around 69,377 qualification awards, which is 3 percent of all our qualifications,” Professor Chandra said. 

“U.S.P. has contributed enormously to the development of Samoa through these quality graduates who now occupy very senior roles in Government, the private sector, academia, and in regional and international organisations.

“I also thank the Government and people of Samoa for their very strong contributions to the development of U.S.P. ever since its establishment in 1968.” 

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Professor Chandra said Samoa has provided two chancellors and two pro chancellors, including the first pro chancellor of the university. 

“It has been my privilege to work with the former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi when he was our chancellor as well with current Deputy Prime Minister Afioga Honourable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa in her role as Pro Chancellor and Chair of Council. 

“Samoa has also provided a vice-chancellor, afioga Esekia Solofa under whom I was privileged to serve as deputy vice-chancellor, the first professor and head and pro vice chancellor for Alafua Campus, Professor Felix Wendt; a registrar, Walter Fraser, Professor Albert Wendt; and many outstanding academic and administrative staff.”

Professor Chandra added Samoa has been a large part of the university’s success culminating to the celebration of the 50th anniversary. 

“We are now almost at the end of the last year of the university’s strategic plan and we have successfully achieved 84 percent of what we set out to achieve,” he said.

“This is an exceptional level of achievement because the only comparator data we could locate showed a level of 72 percent, and because it has been achieved with per student funding of less than half of Australian universities. 

“We have now achieved a total number of 27 international accreditations and 15 international recognitions exceeding the strategic plan K.P.Is. All these have been achieved in the last nine years.” 

Professor Chandra said the new strategic plan for 2019-2024 will now guide the university in the next six years with a mid-term review. 

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