Tripartite USP team briefs PM on Honiara campus progress

Education Minister Dr Derek Sikua, Prime Minister Sogavare being shown the concept design by Professor Chandra.

Education Minister Dr Derek Sikua, Prime Minister Sogavare being shown the concept design by Professor Chandra.

A TRIPARTITE team comprising Officials from the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Solomon Islands Government have briefed Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday on the progress of the Solomon Islands fourth USP campus.

Minister for Education and Human Resources Development Hon. Dr Derek Sikua said the tripartite team will be holding a meeting in Honiara today to discuss the respective obligations of each party in relation to the development of the campus in Honiara.

He said the Government has already allocated land for the campus near the King George the Sixth School area.

He said the process of securing the land title has been progressing well and the team is satisfied with the progress.

Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra said USP has been impressed with the progress made by the Solomon Islands Government so far.

“The progress is very positive and we feel that things are kicking off the ground,” Professor Chandra said.

He informed the Prime Minister that USP will build a “green-field campus” which will incorporate the cultural and traditional designs of Solomon Islands to reflect the host country.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told the team that he is pleased to see USP taking the lead by investing into the education sector for the region.

He also highlighted the need for Solomon Islands to rethink its tertiary education policy to allow students to pursue masters and PhD degrees soon after completing their first degrees once opportunities are available.

The Prime Minister also assured the team that the Solomon Islands Government is still committed to develop the previously allocated site at Doma in Northwest Guadalcanal in the long term.

“We are obliged to ensure necessary infrastructure is built in the area to enable us to host a bigger campus at Doma,” the Prime Minister said.

Vice Chancellor Chandra also said USP is keen to partner with the Solomon Islands National University in developing and enhancing educational services in Solomon Islands once its campuses are established in Solomon Islands.

An ABD Official in the team said ADB is pleased that progress has been made to speed up the development of the campus.

ADB is providing funding assistance through the USP to build the campus in Honiara.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji H.E. Patterson Oti accompanied the USP Delegation to Honiara.

Source: Government Communication Unit (GCU), press release