To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

University of the South Pacific Open Day attract thousands

The University of the South Pacific Open Day 2006 attracted over 10,000 people who took the opportunity to visit and find out more about the university.

The Open Day which was held on Friday, 15 September, is the University’s largest public relations event showcasing its Faculties, programs of study, research and its diverse community of staff, students, stakeholders and friends working together.

The theme for this year’s Open Day was "Our Future, Your Future – Dare to Lead".

Students from secondary schools around the region made up the bulk of visitors to the campuses. This year’s Open Day included participation by all campuses in Fiji – Laucala, Lautoka and Labasa; Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue and Tuvalu.

In welcoming the visitors and officially opening the Open Day Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Tarr pointed out that the University was owned by 12 Member Countries who invested heavily into USP and the people of the region.

"There is total acceptance worldwide that education is the principal key to economic growth and development," said Professor Tarr.

"Our future and your future are shared as we do not perceive any difference in our goals. We are looking to provide the best service our resources permit and we are looking to graduate the best prepared individuals for the human resource need of the Pacific. The same can be said for research. We are looking to focus very strongly on applied areas such as sustainable energy and good governance to assist in the stable development of the region."

Professor Tarr added that the Pacific region was rich in talent and resources and there was no legitimate excuse for accepting that "second best" is OK.

"This is true for whatever area of endeavour one is contemplating. All it takes is hard work, application and confidence built upon a solid knowledge base. The challenge is there for our students to “Dare to Lead” in areas as diverse as village based eco-tourism through to software development. USP through its restructured and revitalized Faculties and Schools is committed to giving our students the types of knowledge and skills to equip them for the challenge. This does not mean that we are perfect – far from it – but we have accepted the challenge of daring to lead as we try and benchmark ourselves against very high standards. We will encourage all of you to embrace the challenge to perform and lead."
Finding out more - students from a secondary school in Fiji looking through a microscope at USP

Highlights during the day included activities and displays by the various schools and departments under the four Faculties – Faculty of Arts and Law; Faculty of Business and Economics; Faculty of Islands and Oceans and Faculty of Science and Technology.

Also joining USP was a crew from ABC Radio Australia which carried a live broadcast from the Laucala Campus. The show time included interviews with students on their life and study programs and competitions.

Student cultural groups affiliated with the USP Students Association together with performers from the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture also put up cultural and contemporary performances to illustrate the diversity of USP. The Solomon Islands boys put on a very outstanding performance with the reknowned "Kabilato" costume that captured the crowd's attention.

Story from: USP and pictures adapted from the Fiji Sun Newspaper and USP Website

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