Last week saw 2,614 students from 20 different countries graduate from the University of the South Pacific, with more than 1,500 being women.
This was USP’s return to hosting face to face graduation after two years. With that many students graduating, the ceremony had to be done over two days, twice the FMF Gymnasium in Suva.
USP’s vice chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia told The Pacific Advocate it was wonderful for the region that 61 per cent of graduating students were women.
Of the 2,614 students, 1,252 students earned undergraduate certificates, diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, 504 post-graduate certificates and diplomas, 193 earned master’s degrees, and two earned doctoral degrees.
“Although COVID-19 is a deterrent to students completing their studies on time, these numbers signify that there is a strong desire to further education and USP will continue to ensure that the quality and excellence that is prevalent within our University is maintained and we are absolutely committed to supporting students completion,” said Prof Ahluwalia.
“As students, you have also forgone many of the conventional University experiences of your final years as national lockdowns closed campuses and learning facilities, moving your learning experience to a predominately digital platform,” he said.
“Your patience and perseverance as students are nothing short of being worthy of praise, as we journey through the post-COVID-19 pandemic years.
He said the University’s global rankings had never been before achieved in the University’s history.
“The first being the World University Real Impact Ranking, where we ranked 11th in the area of Crisis Management,” he said.
“But I think the holy grail for us was when we celebrated our entry into the highly acclaimed and prestigious Times Higher Education global ranking system ranking us amongst the top 10 per cent of universities in the world.
“This ranking means that your degree has already gained more value than you would have ever had. And for our alumni, this is such a great outcome.”
Two awards were given to 71 students, and 47 were awarded gold medals.