USP opens $9m hall

THE University of the South Pacific’s student accommodation worth $9.3 million was opened at its Laucala campus on Monday, allowing an additional 192 students to live on campus.

The 11th Halls of Reside­n­ce have eight three-storey buildings consisting of eig­ht rooms on each floor.

While opening the halls on Monday, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said the newly-built accommodation would greatly benefit local and regional students at USP.

“There are many factors that bear on student success rates and a good, safe and clean place to live with adequate educational facilities is very important,” he said.

“We have students who travelled from many places in Fiji and across the region and beyond to come to study at the Laucala campus. Good quality, affordable accommodation is critical to success at university.”

Mr Usamate said having regional students live together on campus was a factor that drove regionalism and collaboration between the different country states.

USP vice-chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra said with the increasing amount of students enrolling into the university yearly, there has been a high demand for student accommodation.

“There has been such a big backlog because regional countries are saying we should do better to accommodate their students,” Prof Chandra said.

“We had the Solomon Islands High Commissioner just saying that of the 900 Solomon Islands students at USP, only about 100 can be accommodated by the university.”

Additionally, the university has started work on its $20m 12th hall accommodation that will cater for 420 students.

The new student accommodation is fully furnished and consists of hot shower facilities, washing machines, kitchen area and cooking facilities, electric hot plates, refrigerator, toaster, electric jug, microwave, dining tables, chairs, couches, TV and wireless facilities.

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