U.S.P. Alafua campus rebranding
The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) campus at Alafua is rebranding itself as the U.S.P. Samoa campus following a request from the Samoan Government.
The name change was confirmed by an official spokesperson for the university's Vice-Chancellor, Pal Ahluwalia, who is based at U.S.P. headquarters in Laucala, Fiji.
The name change follows a year marked by scandals and mutual recriminations among the leadership
In June, Professor Ahluwalia was suspended by a committee led by Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson over allegations of malpractice.
But he was reinstated after weeks of protests by students and staff when the council ruled due process had not been followed. Samoa was among the international university's member countries to have voiced their concerns over the investigation and treatment of the Vice-Chancellor.
A U.S.P. spokeswoman, Vineeta Nand, confirmed the change was requested and approved last year.
“The request for a name change was made by the Government of Samoa in November 2020 and unanimously approved by the U.S.P. Council at its meeting in November 2020,” said Ms. Nand via e-mail in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
“The date for the official name change from U.S.P. Alafua Campus to U.S.P. Samoa Campus is yet to be decided as internal processes are taking place."
She did not say what prompted the name change.
“We are not at liberty to disclose the reasons for the request from the Government of Samoa," Ms. Nand said.
"We suggest that you refer this question to the [Samoa's] Minister for Education, Sports and Culture."
Attempts to seek a comment from Minister Loau Keneti Sio on Wednesday and Thursday were unsuccessful.
M.E.S.C. Minister Loau and Chief Executive Office of the Ministry of Finance Leasiosiofa’asisina Oscar Malielegaoi are on the U.S.P. council which is composed of 31 representatives from member countries of the international university.