Afioga i le Ao Mamalu o le Malo and Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific visited Fiji to attend and confer awards to over 1,000 graduates at Laucala Campus in Suva last week.
During the Head of State’s two-day visit, Afioga i le Ao Mamalu paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji – Ratu Williame Maivalili Katonivere.
The two leaders reflected on the importance of education to the Pacific, and the continued relevance of strong cultural ties to the Pacific family.
The Head of State was joined by Afioga i le Masiofo, Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano, HE Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia – Samoa’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo – Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Aide-de-Camp – Superintendent Le Mamea Norman Tuafale, and Samoan Students Counsellor – Taito Louis Ofele.
The Head of State and Masiofo had the opportunity to meet with Samoan students attending the USP, and the Fiji National University’s (FNU) School of Medicine.
A total of 61 Samoan students are currently pursuing various Degrees at USP and FNU.
The Vice Chancellor (VC) and President of the USP – Professor Pal Ahluwalia presented his report on the University virtually. In his report, the VC acknowledged the hard working graduands who had to endure the unprecedented challenges of studying in midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, unwavering support of parents and guardians, dedicated management staff, and Heads of Schools and staff of the University, in helping the students accomplished their academic aspirations.
The USP graduation was arranged in three sessions. Graduands came from the University’s various Schools of Agriculture, Geography, Oceans and Natural Resources, Business Management, Information Technology, Engineering, Technical and Further Education, Environment and Sustainable Development, Law and Social Science, Accounting and Finance, and Pacific Arts, Communication and Education. 64 percent of the graduating class are females.
The graduands were from seventeen member countries, and eight from non-member countries.
“This is an indication of how the University has continued to promote cultural diversity and partnerships.”
Afioga i le Ao Mamalu and Masiofo were received by the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellors and Senior Management Staff earlier in the week at Laucala Campus.
The Head of State was taken on a tour of the University’s library, ICT Centre and the Oceania Centre and Art Gallery.