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Business as usual for USP says VC

September 29, 2020 12:45 pm
The University of the South Pacific continues to provide the best quality education to its students.

The University of the South Pacific continues to provide the best quality education to its students.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia has given this assurance to its students as there were concerns raised following the Fijian government’s decision to cease its grant to the university.

Ahluwalia says if the seizure of grants continues, the university will manage this till the end of the year and the management has referred the matter to the Council to deal with.

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When questions were raised on whether the reorganization of the University was done due to the withholding of grants, Professor Ahluwalia says this was done largely due to COVID-19.

“There was a reduction in the overall grant of $21.6m and of course that has affected us but more than that it’s been COVID-19 and the impact of COVID-19 and we all know that all 12 of our governments are finding it hard. It is difficult, not just for our government but for the government’s around the world. I think that is the reality that’s what we are dealing with.”

Meanwhile, the USP Executive Director Finance Kolinio Boila says the impact of the grant that has ceased from the Fijian government has not yet been felt by the University.

“The impact from the Fijian government is basically, currently absorbed so we have not yet moved into a position where we cut wages or salaries that is for down the line if the situation worsens. But for the time being, we have absorbed that from our current contingencies.”

Boila says all other member countries are fully committed to financially supporting USP at least for this year.

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