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Fiji does not make the rules for the USP Council to operate: Akbar

February 12, 2021 8:00 am

Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar has stressed that good governance must be at the core of running the University of the South Pacific.

Speaking in Parliament, Akbar who is also a Fiji representative to the USP Council stresses that Fiji is a member of the Council and therefore cannot usurp the powers of the council.

“We have to understand that the Council is governed by the USP Statutes. Fiji government does not make the rules for the Council to operate. And again there was a mention that Samoa wanted the Campus to shift to Samoa, that’s a Council decision that will be governed by the Statutes. Neither Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands or Nauru can do things on its own.”

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Akbar also strongly denied any involvement of her Ministry in the internal matters of the regional institution.

“The Ministry nor the government interferes with the internal governance issues of USP. We don’t deal with what the VC is doing we don’t dictate what the PC is going to do or who they appoint or who they terminate. All we want is whoever is in that position, to practice good governance.”

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also revealed that the USP Council is deeply divided in the way forward.

Sayed-Khaiyum also touched on the deportation of Professor Ahluwalia.

“The discussion on Friday, unfortunately for 5 hours went on whether the contract was still in place, because Nauru wanted to amend the contract. So our argument was, you cannot amend a contract that’s already been terminated. You can only amend something that is still in existence.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also says there are some very unhealthy relationships between people on the Council and Professor Ahluwalia.

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