Caption: Left- Chancellor and Chair of USP Council, Mr Ikbal Jannif, Prime Minister of Solomon islands, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo and the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra. Photo: SUPPLIED.
The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo launched the University of the South Pacific’s new Strategic Plan 2013-2018, on 17 April 2013, praising it for providing a clear path for the development of the University.
The launch, following the major launch at Laucala Campus on 25 February, 2013, coincided with USP delegation’s visit to Honiara from 16-19 April 2013 to sign a land lease agreement with Government and launch its new USP Solomon Island Campus project at Ndoma in Honiara.
Professor Rajesh Chandra thanked all the stakeholders in Solomon Islands who had contributed to developing the Strategic Plan, which will take USP to its 50th Anniversary in 2018.
“The Strategic Plan 2013-2018 paints a picture of USP as we imagine it in 2018 – a larger university, known for excellence in areas such as Climate Change, Pacific Studies, and ICT, that produces the research needed by member countries and the type of graduates who can drive economic growth in the region,” he said.
The plan has four focal areas of development, important to the University’s growth and success in the next six years:
- The regional campuses
- Regionally-relevant research
- USP’s role as an exemplar institution
The University aims to have continued commitment to the highest quality, which will create an institution of excellence by 2018.
“USP has therefore carefully designed this Strategic Plan so that it will produce the type of graduates that we will need in 2018 and beyond. It will graduate more students at the postgraduate level, who are essential drivers of the growth of our economy,” he added.
Professor Chandra thanked Prime Minister Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, for his and his government’s support to USP.
“We are very grateful for the trust and confidence that you have shown in setting aside 100 hectares of land donated by the people of Guadalcanal for the construction of a new USP campus in Honiara,” Professor Chandra said.
Professor Chandra said the development of USP Solomon Island Campus is part of the Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and USP undertakes to complete the construction of the Campus by the end of 2015.
Pro-Chancellor and USP Council Chair, Ikbal Jannif who led the USP delegation, said the new Strategic Plan is built on the commitments and accomplishments made under its predecessor and revalidates USP‘s ability to deliver and support the region on key issues facing their development.
“In addition to its key priorities relating to learning and teaching, student support, research, regional & community engagement, HR, and governance, a seventh priority of ICT has been added,” he said.
The Pro-Chancellor urged stakeholders to read the new Strategic Plan and see how they can support USP in its endeavour to reach excellence and become an outstanding institution by 2018.
The Pro-Chancellor echoed the strong support of the Prime Minister and his Government for the construction of the new USP campus.
Prime Minister Lilo said USP has managed to improve its reputation, governance, and management within three years by aligning its work to the themes of quality, relevance, and sustainability and he looks forward to observing the transformation that will be achieved during the next six years under the new plan.
He commended USP for the step it has taken in developing a new Campus in Honiara, and said it is a positive situation for many young Solomon Islanders who want to continue their studies but cannot do so as they cannot afford to pay for travel costs, or feel they are not qualified.
“I understand that USP will be expanding its courses on technical, vocational, and community education, thereby offering another less traditional route to higher education.
“We therefore look forward to USP to accelerate the development of the new campus and my Government and I will ensure that we provide all the necessary support and assistance during the implementation of the project,” he added.
He said USP can also assist with advancing Information Communication Technology (ICT), an area he says, that needs to be developed in the Solomon Islands.
“One of our greatest resources is our huge number of young people. If they can be trained in the use of ICT, then we will have an easier time becoming involved in knowledge-based industries. USPNet can be used to support our own telecommunications infrastructure, to enable faster and more reliable internet connections” Prime Minister Lilo added.
Government Ministers, Leader of Opposition, Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government officials, diplomats, Solomon Islands National University Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, FFA Director General, representatives of the private sector, USP staff and students were present during the launch.