CAPTION: The Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra (3rd from right) with members of the Emalus Campus Advisory Committee.
The first meeting of the year for the Emalus Campus Advisory Committee took place on 5 February 2013. The meeting was attended by the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra, who was visiting Vanuatu at that time to participate in the PacLII Advisory Committee Board meeting under the new funding granted by AusAID.
High-level members, including the Director General in the Ministry of Education, Mr Jesse Dick Joe and the Director General in the Ministry of the Prime Minister, Mr Santos Vatoko also attended the Emalus Campus Advisory Committee meeting.
Issues discussed included the new USP Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and the importance of finalizing the Emalus Campus Implementation Plan; the need to revitalize the Emalus Campus Advisory Committee with more frequent meetings and timely production of minutes and outcomes; the draft Master Plan for the campus; and French language education and training.
During the meeting, the Committee was reminded that their role in the implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan was crucial.
The new Strategic Plan was approved by the USP Council in November last year. Some F$240 million is year-marked to be invested in the development of regional campuses.
The Committee noted the Strategic Plan and agreed to fully support its implementation in Vanuatu. It will work with the Campus Management to finalize the Vanuatu USP Triennium Implementation Plan 2013-2015, which is expected to begin implementation in the next six months.
The Committee was revived and now has the full expectation of the Vice-Chancellor to operate effectively into the future. The Terms of Reference for the Committee will also be reviewed and full membership will be finalized later this month.
On the development front, while Emalus campus is doing well with facilities being constructed, the need for a big lecture theatre, computer lab, better roads, and renovations to old buildings and fencing was identified. A request was made for greater delivery of face-to-face courses on campus in science and education.
A draft master plan was developed for the Emalus Campus. The plan is an effort to have a rational basis for further development. The Committee was encouraged to make its input into the plan with further consultation from the Emalus management, staff, students, government ministries and other stakeholders.
The Committee agreed to prepare a proposal with costing for the concrete fencing of the remaining perimeter of the campus to curb the security problem faced by the campus.
The Committee was informed that the University is concerned about the needs of French speaking students in Vanuatu. It was decided that clear indication needs to be provided by the Vanuatu Government to USP on the delivery of a French language program at Emalus.
The Vice-Chancellor assured that USP will cooperate with universities from French speaking countries; namely University of New Caledonia and University of Mauritius under their partnership agreement.
The Committee agreed that a credible French language program must be developed in the next six months and a coordinator must be appointed to oversee efforts of revamping the second chance program.
The Committee agreed to meet on a regular basis once a month.
The Vice-Chancellor was accompanied by the Director, Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni, Mr Jaindra Karan on the Vanuatu trip.