Take your cue from Fiji’s Olympians, Vice-Chancellor tells USP graduates

By Staff Reporters

Some of the 996 USP students who graduated today. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ruci Vakamino

Fiji’s 13 gold medal Olympians have shown that Pacific islanders are all capable of being the best in the world despite our limited resources, said USP Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra yesterday.

He was addressing the 996 graduates at the University of the South Pacific graduation in the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

“A small country with less than one million people, with limited resources showed that it can be the best in the world,” he said.

“You too have the capability to truly excel — and achieve anything in the world.

“You have to chase the dream through hard work, perseverance, innovation and commitment.”

USP Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra address students. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ruci Vakamino

Prof. Chandra congratulated the graduates, 64 per cent of whom were females, and reminded them to adhere to the university motto of excellence.

“Live and promote a sense of high integrity and moral values, and I challenge you today to uphold the most important principle of the University of the South Pacific — excellence throughout your life,” he said.

He added that USP was highly regarded as the region’s premiere provider of higher education and its graduates have earned wide acclaim for their contributions.

An elated graduate and her family after the graduation ceremony. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ruci Vakamino

“You should join the other 40,000 alumni by becoming good ambassadors of the University and good role models in your countries,” he urged.

Almost half of the graduates were females, and about 223 students were from the Pacific TAFE programme. This 23 per cent of vocational students reflects the programme’s rapid growth.

Almost a third of the graduates had completed their postgraduate programmes, of which 9 per cent were graduating with their Masters degrees.