Vice Chancellor denies high staff turnover

The outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra, has downplayed claims about the high turnover of Lecturers at the university.

Prof. Chandra was responding to a question on whether the university was losing some of its quality Lecturers, who contribute to the academic development of the students. 

 “People will always leave a university that’s part of how the university reviews itself; you become worried if more leave than you think is normal,” he said. 

“We now have published data from other universities like what is the turnover of the staff."

“As the reputation of the university increases, we are getting more quality people coming in because they all want to work in an accredited institution; they all want to work where research is there, but sometimes you will find that their expectation and our expectation don’t always merge.”

“And so if we haven’t done the selection carefully, or if they have not been careful about assessing us, so they will want to move."

Sometimes they want to come here for three-four years and they want to move on to other things.”

Prof. Chandra said the university is not losing out on anything if Lecturers opt to leave because they are being paid for the services they deliver.  

“We are investing a lot in regional capacity, so as long as we have good feed, we give a lot of graduates’ scholarships, Pacific islanders are getting a lot of scholarships from Australia, New Zealand, China, India everywhere, so as long as we have that feed, that’ll be the backbone of the university,” he said.

“Outside people we want to get the good ones, some become citizens and stay, some go, personally I don’t think it is a major issue. 

“Obviously we can’t pay like Australia, we can’t be competitive with Australia, we are fairly competitive with New Zealand, we are competitive with a lot of developing countries, even with European countries where there is a lot of turmoil going on, and they find U.S.P. an attractive place.” 

Prof. Chandra said the university will get the people they want to deliver effective services.

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