A COCKTAIL launch this week featured the University of the South Pacific and Australia strengthening their ties following the extension of a year-long partnership.
Under the partnership, Australia will provide $A13.55million ($F24.78m) to USP following on from the initial partnership arrangement between the university and Australia for the 2010-2012 period which will support the implementation of the new Strategic Plan and incentive funding.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra said while partnerships required results, USP pledged to offer the best quality education, training, research, and policy advice possible, and to proactively seek opportunities and areas in which it could exercise leadership and offer substantive input to its members.
Prof Chandra said USP was committed to providing more services and better quality to the region, and would achieve this through the implementation of its Strategic Plan 2013-2018. He thanked the government of Australia, describing the partnership as an extremely important gesture of support for the future of the Pacific island region, and a real boost to its youth and their economy.
"Australia and New Zealand's partnership funding will help USP to implement this transformative new strategic plan, which outlines plans to greatly enlarge the size of the university, improve its quality, and transform it into an institution of excellence by its 50th anniversary in 2018," he said.
Acting High Commissioner Glen Miles said the partnership ensured Australia stood with USP as it embarked on a path of transformation.
He said out of the 80 per cent objectives achieved by USP, the achievements included strengthened institutional capacity and financial health, ongoing transformation of the curriculum under the Strategic Total Academic Review (STAR) Project and upgrading of communications infrastructure to quadruple internet speed.