The University of the South Pacific launched its new Strategic Plan for 2013-2018. The six-year Plan was launched by the USP Chancellor, Ulu-o-Tokelau, His Excellency Aliki Faipule Kerisiano Kalolo, at the University’s Laucala Campus in Suva on 25 February, 2013.
The new Strategic Plan was approved by the USP Council in its last meeting in November last year. It builds on the successes of the previous Strategic Plan 2010-2012, taking forward its six priority areas – Learning and Teaching; Student Support; Research and Internationalization; Regional and Community Engagement; Our People; and Governance, Management, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement – and adding another, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Under the new Plan, the University will focus on its people, quality, regional campuses, postgraduate studies, research, global leadership in areas such as Pacific Arts, Climate Change and Oceans, entrepreneurialism, and being a regional exemplar.
Describing it as an inclusive blueprint for expansion and improvement leading to USP’s 50th anniversary in 2018, the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra pointed out that a key
element in the success of any Strategic Plan is the process by which it is conceived and developed.
He stated that the new Strategic Plan was developed in consultation with member countries and stakeholders, including staff, students, development partners and regional agencies.
“This Plan is therefore very consultative and inclusive, and this should make it a successful one because of its sense of ownership and inclusion,” he added.
Given the success of the previous Strategic Plan, Professor Chandra said there was an opportunity to think bigger, be more ambitious and innovative that resulted in the new Plan to have a stronger, more unifying vision that relates closely to the needs and aspirations of the region.
The over-riding theme of the new Strategic Plan 2013-2018 is transforming USP from good to excellent. The University is expected to spend around $241 million on implementing the new Plan.
“Being good is not good enough in a highly competitive, open, and knowledge-intensive world. We need to lift our vision and stretch our performance, and obtain global recognition in selected fields and a reputation of competence and excellence in everything we do,” explained the Vice-Chancellor.
Moving forward, Professor Chandra is confident that the University will be able to achieve its vision of excellence, greater regionality, greater and more impactful research, and greater entrepreneurship that has been outlined in the new Plan.
In introducing the Chief Guest, H.E. Aliki Kalolo, the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council, Ikbal Jannif, thanked him for his strong support to the University. Mr Jannif also acknowledged Fiji, as one of the member countries for hosting USP’s headquarters. He said that Fiji, together with other member countries of USP, have collectively supported the University for over four decades.
Speaking at the launch, H.E. Aliki Kalolo said, “I am excited and confident in the fact that this Plan will grow excellence across this institution, creating by 2018, a university that produces the right type of highly skilled graduates for this region, a university that provides an excellent foundation for leadership, a university that identifies and then creatively addresses development challenges, and a university of which we all can be genuinely proud.”
The USP Chancellor stated that the new Strategic Plan is a robust, well-thought out and realistic blueprint for expansion and improvement, which will contribute to USP’s on-going success.
By 2018, USP is expected to grow in size of about a projected 33,000 students, many of whom will be at the postgraduate level. The University will have more member countries and will boast of regional campuses that are as high-quality, modern, and well-equipped as its flagship campus at Laucala, Suva.
“The Strategic Plan 2013-2018 calls for a strengthening of the regional identity of the University, and for substantial improvements to the regional campuses. Better facilities and more services at the regional campuses will support increased enrolments, and will improve both the student experience and learning outcomes. We will also be able to hold more significant events and meetings at the regional campuses. They will become a visible and active part of USP,” H.E. Aliki Kalolo said.
Those present were told that at the operational level, the new Strategic Plan will further unite the University’s diverse and numerous workforce behind a common goal of excellence as an institution by 2018, whereas at the institutional level, it will enhance institutional accountability, as members and development partners understand exactly how their funds will be used in the short-term and to which long-term purposes they contribute.
In launching the document, H.E. Aliki Kalolo reiterated that the new Strategic Plan is not only USP’s plan for growth and development for the next six years, but it has important ramifications for all of USP’s member countries.
“Its success will be shared and felt throughout the region, in better qualified and prepared human resources, in more readily applicable research, and in increased useful dialogue on regional issues and policy-making,” he further stated.
The launch was attended by the President of the Republic of Fiji, H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, members of the diplomatic corps, heads and representatives of CROP agencies and international organizations, senior government officials, school principals, members of the USP Council and the University’s Senior Management Team, staff members, media and other guests.