Fiji plans to ‘restore confidence’ in USP partnership, says Professor Prasad


By Rakesh Kumar in Suva

Fiji’s Minister of Finance and deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad says all coalition companions within the new authorities have agreed to a better relationship with the Suva-based regional College of the South Pacific (USP).

He mentioned authorities would restore confidence in USP and respect the governance construction of the establishment.

Professor Biman Prasad mentioned that it was a dedication made by all coalition companions in authorities.

He mentioned Fiji would now be “an actual associate” with USP.

“We’re going to revive that confidence, we’re going to respect the governance construction of the college,” he mentioned.

“Which means that when the college council comes to a decision, we as members in that council will respect that call, not like the earlier authorities and their reps, who disregarded it as a result of they didn’t win within the council.

“Issues didn’t go of their favour; they tried to [withhold] the grant of the college via some bogus declare that there needs to be extra investigation.

“None of that was true, none of that was affordable.”

Vice-chancellor ban already lifted
He mentioned the ban on vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia, who was pressured to turn into primarily based at USP’s Samoa campus after being deported from Fiji in 2021, had already been lifted.

“As you realize, the Prime Minister has already lifted the ban on Professor Pal Ahluwalia who was deported in the midst of the night time,” he mentioned.

“That was a tragic factor for this nation — it was an assault on democracy, it was an assault on tutorial freedom.

“So we’re very happy that our authorities has been capable of take away that and we look ahead to a really cooperative relationship with the College of the South Pacific and certainly with all different universities within the nation as a result of we consider that empowering the colleges, giving them tutorial freedom, giving them autonomy is sweet for our college students, good for our employees, good for the nation.”

Professor Prasad mentioned the federal government would work carefully with tertiary establishments within the nation.

“This authorities goes to work carefully with the colleges and different tertiary establishments to guarantee that we empower them, we use sources at these universities to assist authorities to work in coverage areas, analyse knowledge.

“As a authorities, we’re going to be very, very liberal with the tutorial neighborhood on this nation as a result of we would like them to know that this can be a authorities which goes to be open, which goes to assist them do analysis as a result of we won’t be afraid of crucial analysis being completed by teachers, whether or not they’re in Fiji or from exterior.

“They’ll have entry to knowledge wherever doable. They’ll have entry to the processes and the help to do analysis in crucial areas.

“That will likely be very, crucial for the federal government.”

Half century of innovation
Pacific Media Watch reviews that the College of the South Pacific is one in all solely two regional multinational universities on the planet — the opposite is within the West Indies.

USP is collectively owned and ruled by 12 member international locations — Prepare dinner Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The college has campuses in all member international locations with Fiji having three campuses.

For greater than a half century, USP has been main the Pacific with distinctive contributions in analysis, innovation, studying, educating and neighborhood engagement.

Rakesh Kumar is a Fiji Instances reporter. Republished with permission.

Fiji's Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad
Fiji’s Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad . . . able to be interviewed exterior Authorities Buildings. Picture: Jona Konataci/The Fiji Instances
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