National Federation Party - Fiji
USP continues to rise and thrive
September 3, 2021
The ranking of the University of the South Pacific in the top 10% of universities in the world by the highly influential Times Higher Education world rankings for 2022 is a monumental achievement for USP and its member states.
This is an outstanding tribute to USP’s leaders including current Vice-Chancellor and President of USP Professor Pal Ahluwalia, staff and students, past and present. USP is still a young university by many standards - barely 50 years old.
It is one of only two universities in the world owned by multiple governments. Its member countries are small island states, spread across wide and challenging physical distances. And still USP continues to rise and thrive.
Where many South Pacific regional institutions may not have been too successful, USP has prospered as a place of higher learning. Literally thousands of people in professional and leadership positions in our region are scholars of USP.
I feel very proud of this achievement, having had over three decades of involvement with USP as a student, teacher, researcher and administrator. The university’s influence on the affairs of the South Pacific – and Fiji in particular – is immense.
Fiji is privileged to host USP’s main campus and to benefit from the intellectual energy and economic activity USP creates. And the relationship between Fiji and USP will endure, long after the Fiji First Government and its juvenile attacks on USP have gone into the dustbin of history.
Future Fiji governments have before them the chance to work closely with USP, not against it. We can use USP’s huge stores of skills and knowledge to improve the lives of our people and to compete in the global knowledge-based economy.
If USP is allowed to apply itself to Fiji’s and the region’s problems, USP itself will develop new knowledge and experience. This path of partnership can create multiple new opportunities for all of us here in Fiji and the broader Pacific region.
As Fiji faces multiple crises of health, economics and leadership, USP’s good news offers us a short moment to celebrate. It points the way to a better future.
Professor Biman Prasad