Labasa Campus Open Day 2018 a success

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Labasa Campus 2018 Open Day held at the Katonivere grounds on 27 July 2018 was a success with thousands visiting and taking an interest in the courses and programmes offered by the University.

In honour of USP’s 50th anniversary, the Labasa Campus took a different strategy when it drew on the stories of its prominent alumni and international opportunities that USP offers.

Hosting twenty-three (23) secondary schools, with more than one thousand five hundred students (1,500) along the Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove districts, the USP Open Day at Labasa Campus was a buzz of activities, song and dances, as the Open day committee combined elements of the 50th anniversary celebrations with its usual Open Day activities.

Mr. Jovesa Vocea, the Commissioner Northern, a prominent alumni and Chief Guest for the event, remarked in his opening address that “as a proud alumnus of USP, I wish to reiterate that USP has the quality and integrity in terms of its leadership, management and most importantly in the delivery of its core functions, which is teaching, learning and research.”

Mr. Vocea lamented on USP’s 50 years of existence, by saying that “USP has grown from strength to strength and has successfully fulfilled its social, economic and political obligation to the Pacific and specifically to Fiji.

“USP continues to build its reputation on quality, in terms of leadership and academic staff and subsequently the quality of its programmes,” he added.

Students from as far as South Taveuni Secondary School, Vatuvonu College, Nadogo Central College and Immaculate Conception College left their schools premises at 4am and arrived early at the Katonivere grounds at 9am.

Other secondary school students arrived at different times of the day and were greeted by the exuberant student volunteers and staff. Lively dances, quiz questions, giveaway prizes, testimonials of prominent USP alumni in Labasa were shared to showcase the influence of USP on its graduates. Also a few staff shared their experiences of international opportunities that USP presented to them.

Students were captivated and marveled at those stories of opportunities that were present at USP, and were encouraged to pursue a programme of study at USP after their years in high school.

Staff from both Labasa, Savusavu and Laucala Campus namely GSB, Pacific TAFE, School of Accounting & Finance, School of Agriculture, School of Governance, FALE’s School of Education, FSTE’s School of Computing Science & Maths and School of Marine Studies also added to the students’ information drive, in understanding how USP programmes can help shape the future of this prospective Vanualevu students.

Alumnus, Mrs Serafina Saukilagi, Principal of All Saints Secondary School and graduate of 1980’s shared her fears of walking into the gates of USP, even though she was educated at St Joseph’s Secondary School.

She stated that she had experienced culture shock when she first joined USP and that experience shaped her to acclimatise and draw upon the strengths of receiving an education in a regional University. Fifty years later, today she thanked USP for shaping her future to be the school leader that she is today.

Fereen Nisha, inspired students of her story of how she first began as a Labasa Campus student wading through a waterway and walking down the road of Vunimoli to get to the Labasa Campus in 2014. Today, she has returned from Macquarie University in Australia, and from Europe on USP student exchange programmes that were offered through USP’s International Office.

Dr Samuela Bogitini, Labasa Campus Director said that as students returned to their respective schools around the divisions of Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove, it is hoped they would take back with them the essence of the quality of education and opportunities USP has to offer.