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$5.15m USP, NZ Partnership Agreement signed

$5.15m USP, NZ Partnership Agreement signed

An Agreement extending the current Partnership between The University of the South Pacific (USP) and New Zealand was signed at the Laucala Campus on 7 February 2019.

The partnership, which will now extend to 31 December 2019, has a total core funding of NZD 5.15 million, which is a three per cent increase from the immediate prior arrangement.

Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President welcomed His Excellency Jonathan Curr, New Zealand High Commissioner and his team to the Laucala Campus.

“We are thrilled that we can cement this partnership even further and I am looking forward to following up on talks and meeting the people concerned following the very productive High Level Consultation last November,” he said.

According to Professor Ahluwalia, there is a lot of excitement within the University and it is deeply appreciative of what the partnership can accomplish.

“We could not have run this University without you and you have been supporting us for many years. Thank you again and I know you have personally championed this University, which gives us a lot of confidence that together we can really make a difference in the Pacific,” he added.

His Excellency Jonathan Curr, New Zealand High Commissioner acknowledged Professor Ahluwalia and reciprocated his warm welcome.

He emphasised the importance of the partnership, adding that they are mindful of the fact that Professor Ahluwalia is new in his role, and that there is also a new Strategic Plan for the University, which is currently undergoing some work.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting USP through this transition and to continue to be a partner to this institution in the future,” H.E Curr commented.

He commended the fact that the VC&P was due to visit New Zealand immediately after taking up office, where there would be opportunity for talks in taking the partnership into the future.

“Finally, I wanted to just underscore the tremendous value that USP provides to the region. It is a vitally important CROP agency and it plays an extremely important role in preparing the Pacific region to face the challenges of the future and to deal with the development priorities that the region is grappling with,” H.E Curr added.

The funding will allow USP to deliver its core business by implementing USP’s Governing Council (Council)- mandated strategies as set out in USP’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and 2019-2024 and associated budget(s) in the period commencing on the signing of this Arrangement by both parties and ending 31 December 2019.

In addition, funding of up to NZ$100,000 is provided under the Emergency Priorities Fund, for USP to undertake small-scale activities to investigate proposed changes to the USP Strategic Plan 2019-2024 or to progress emerging priorities through 2019.

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