Formal welcome of new students at USP

New students enrolled at The University of the South Pacific (USP) for the 2016 academic year were accorded a welcome ceremony at the University’s Laucala Campus in Suva.

The formal welcome marked the end of the week-long Orientation programme, which is held annually, to ensure new students have a smooth transition to university life by providing them with appropriate advice and support as they embark on an exciting journey to study at USP.

The Chief Guest at the event was the President of Fiji, His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote who was welcomed to the University by the Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Coll.

Professor Coll congratulated students on choosing USP, and said that the Orientation programme is integral to their success as they begin their first year experience.

He told students that USP offers a multi-cultural community of learned scholars and professionals to help guide them through their University journey as well as opportunities to interact with and learn from students from other cultures.

He further elaborated that USP provides a strong foundation for students to acquire the necessary skills and experiences that will serve them well in their chosen professions.  

“As new students, I urge you to take full advantage of all that USP has to offer - our excellent facilities, various student support services including quality Library, student learning services, information and communication technologies, fitness and health centre, counselling services and many more,” he said.    

He also encouraged students to make the most of their time and broaden their horizons by becoming lifelong independent, critical and active learners.  

Speaking at the official welcome programme, H.E. Jioji Konrote reminded students that USP is the place where many future leaders in the region spent their formative years gaining intellectual exposure and leadership skills.

He said that USP was established in 1968 and is now the leading regional university, and one of two regional universities in the world.

The President reiterated the importance of the Orientation progarmme, saying that new students get to hear from various faculty and department representatives about the courses, services and opportunities offered by USP and meet with new and continuing students, as well as with academic staff.

He said that that USP provides a safe and suitable environment for every learning style such as students who want to study indoors like in the library which sits over 900 students or those that prefer outdoors in the lush and peaceful environment around the campus. 

H.E. Jioji Konrote went on to talk about the important and crucial relationship between Government of Fiji and USP.

“We believe that USP is vital in helping the Government produce suitably qualified and an educated workforce within a knowledge-based society,” he said.

H.E. Jioji Konrote highlighted the issue of Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs. As Fiji’s lead advocate in creating greater awareness about NCDs, the President said that to succeed at university and life, people must be healthy and this encompasses spiritual, physical, mental and social well-being.

He said that NCDs are caused by poor choices largely in eating habits and a lack of physical activity.

He told students that as they study in such a highly regarded institution like USP, they are to make a difference in their own lives and also in the lives of their respective families and communities.

“Make the right choices – eat healthy foods, exercise daily and look after your health. Show to your parents and to your communities that the choices you make will be based on a higher intellectual capacity and with greater wisdom,” he added.

The President extended his congratulations to student for making their choice to seek higher education at USP. 

“I urge you to make the most of the resources available at the university in ensuring your success here. For the decisions you make here will impact your academic results and that in turn impacts your career path,” he stated.

During the day, students were thoroughly entertained by the cultural performances, songs, competitions and taekwondo demonstration and other fun activities. The Orientation Week was facilitated by USP’s Campus Life.