To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

USP Vice-Chancellor highlights 2010 plans for the regional university

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra last Friday higlighted 2010 plans for the university, in a packed graduation ceremony in Suva, Fiji.

In a ceremony that also marked the installation of the 16th USP Chancellor, His Excellency Honourable Marcus Stephen (President of the Republic of Nauru), Professor Chandra offered his congratulations to the 866 students that graduated.

Professor Chandra said in a speech that the University intends to grow its postgraduate enrolment not only through coursework-based Masters but more significantly through thesis-based Masters and PhDs.

Professor Chandra added that the University Council has approved the new Strategic Plan 2010-2012 in June 2009, which focuses on recovery, consolidation and reshaping the University for targeted expansion with student success and student support for learning at its core. The Plan has the theme of “Quality, Relevance and Sustainability” which encapsulates its developmental thrust for the next triennium.

The second document deals with the University's triennial submission which outlines its financial plans for the next three years. In preparing the Triennial Submission 2010-2012, the University was very mindful of the current financial challenges facing member countries, so for the first time it asked for a reduction rather than an increase in the overall government contributions. The University is awaiting the formal approval from the Ministers of Finance of the UGC recommendations.

For 2010, one of the major initiatives is a Total Academic Review, a key goal of our new Strategic Plan. This will involve a review of all our academic programmes and courses and will build on what we have already accomplished. The outcome of this Review is expected to be a more streamlined portfolio of programmes that are responsive to the demands of our students and their sponsors, and directly address the development challenges that confront our region today, said Professor Chandra.

"The new Japan-Pacific ICT Centre will open in March 2010, and we expect a significant increase in the range and quality of our ICT programmes and services. The USPNet broadband will be expanded substantially, with its speed at least doubled.

"The construction of a new student residential complex is also planned.

"The University will continue to implement recommendations of the Quality Audit Report. As part of nurturing quality, all gold medalists of USP will be guaranteed Graduate Assistantships from 2010."

Professor Chandra further stated that a new Human Resources Strategy will be developed to ensure that USP recruits the best people, inducts and develops them properly, assess their performance vigorously and fairly, and rewards them appropriately.

"The University will also finalize its Risk Management Plan, the international student recruitment strategy, the Campus Master Plan and its ICT Plan."

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