14 March, 2018. By Alisi Vucago. THE $5.6million contribution by the New Zealand government towards the University of the South Pacific is an excellent way to mark USP’s 50th-anniversary celebration.
New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr this week visited USP where he was informed of the growing partnership formed between New Zealand and USP.
USP vice-chancellor and president Professor Rajesh Chandra said Mr Curr’s appointment could not have come at a better time as the relationship between USP and New Zealand had strengthened even further.
“New Zealand has been our partner from the beginning. It is one of the countries that commissioned the initial stages of the study into the formation of this university,” Prof Chandra said.
“New Zealand has provided support towards the core budget of the university, which has enabled USP to position itself well to serve the Pacific region with ICT, research, and regionalism becoming the transformative strategy for the university.”
Prof Chandra said the New Zealand government supported the first years of USP’s operations by leaving valuable buildings and other assets at Laucala Bay, which was a site for the Royal New Zealand Air Force. These, he mentioned were utilised for many years and some of those were still being used to date.
“New Zealand has been steadfast in supporting USP, in helping govern it through the membership of the council and the University Grants Committee and our relationship has been extremely constructive and progressive.”