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SUVA, Fiji (April 29, 1998 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---Planning for the expansion of information technology facilities and services at the multi-campus University of the South Pacific (USP) is essential "to help the region develop," says administrator Richard Mann.

The university, notes the USP Director of Planning and Development, has personnel and learning activities functioning in 12 different regional countries and territories, serving over 9,200 students.

Enrolments range from seven in Tokelau to 6,687 in Fiji.

Increasing the use of computers, e-mail, the Internet and other communications resources, he told regional informational technology experts meeting at the Forum Secretariat Wednesday, is a key university goal.

"It opens up fascinating learning opportunities for students," he added, and contributes effectively to Pacific Islands region development.

At the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus, a short distance from downtown Suva, student-computer ratios have grown from 40 to 1 in 1996 to 16 to 1 this year.

For computer training in Fiji, Mann has plans to build 10 laboratories with 25 computers each.

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