The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) Samoa Campus reached a historical milestone on Monday when it welcomed a high number of new students to its 2018 Orientation at the Alafua Campus, from 10am-5pm.
Another ‘first’ is the high number of Alafua-based students’ registrations for courses and programmes across all disciplines offered at U.S.P, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The orientation keynote was delivered by a former U.S.P. Vice Chancellor, Mulitalo Esekia Solofa, U.S.P.’s fifth Vice Chancellor from 1992-2001.
Mulitalo Solofa challenged the students to reflect on the question: ‘Why are you here?”
He stressed the importance of ‘choices’, of how exactly to “exercise” and “apply” them, citing higher education as one.
He reiterated the importance of knowing what to look for in higher education, “… and equally important, what to do with it.”
Mulitalo acknowledged 2018 as U.S.P’s half a century milestone year, and he praised U.S.P’s tremendous growth since its inception in 1968.
He acknowledged that U.S.P. was initially owned by 11 then later, 12 nations, and was established at a time when some of its mother nations were newly independent or self-governing, with some soon to follow suit, as a “wave of colonization swept across the globe”.
He praised U.S.P’s role in the development of its mother nations, despite the fact that from the 70’s—90’s, experts from rich countries were still being brought in to solve problems in the Pacific using knowledge based on values alien to Pacific islanders.
As “development comes in stages”, the time has come, declared Mulitalo Solofa, to cease dependence on rich countries, and for Pacific locals to find solutions to own problems.
In closing, he challenged the students with the onus of finding solutions to identified problems using the “way we think, the way we do things, and the way we are.”
On his part, the Campus Director and H.O.S.-S.A.F.T—Professor Umar, welcomed the students and distinguished guests before expounding on Orientation Day as a time when new students are introduced to the campus and its offerings.
He stressed the importance of university as another stage to prepare students for the real world, adding that “the process of actually achieving” is the backbone for survival in the world.
Prof. Umar reminded students to set and achieve “goals” at university and to expect both successes and failures in their studies. He urged them to “Look at problems and challenges as possibilities and opportunities”, to work hard, make sacrifices and to always be the best as “nothing worth having comes easy.”
Prof. Umar stated the goal of education as the “creation of an enlightened society”, identifying the youth as those to benefit most from education as they are at a time when the “mind is very dynamic, creative and full of ideas.”
Prof. Umar encouraged the students to protect their parents’ reputation and to work hard to make them proud, empowering them with the words spoken to Mahatma Gandhi by his mother: “Son, in your entire lifetime, if you can save or better someone’s life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success.”
He reminded all students to thank and trust in God. In closing, Professor Umar extended his best wishes to all students, urging them to be committed, hardworking and to adopt a positive attitude at all times.
The Orientation was officially opened with a traditional kava ceremony conducted by the staff and students of Alafua Campus to welcome the distinguished guests and new students to Alafua Campus.
Among the distinguished guests were Roland Pritchett, Director of S.I.T., Samoa and a group of S.I.T. students. In attendance were the staff, students and friends of U.S.P.