Fiji: University Of The South Pacific Launches 30 Projects Under Its Strategic Research Theme Totaling $1.5M

'Research is very important for any country that pushes for a knowledge based society'

By Sonal Shivangani

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 30, 2016) – The University of the South Pacific (USP) yesterday launched 30 projects under its Strategic Research Theme (SRT) worth $1.5 million.

Speaking at the launch, Vice Chancellor and President of USP Professor Rajesh Chandra said that research is very important for any country that pushes for a knowledge based society like Fiji.

“The Honourable Prime Minister often talks about a knowledge based society and talks about Fiji being able to play a part in the international arena, all of that requires very good research and development and it requires active dissemination and the conversion of knowledge into goods and services that can propel the economy to be productive,” said Professor Chandra.

He said the first purpose of the research was that the findings are actually applied and which results in some tangible and quick assistance to member countries; empowering them or enabling them to improve their economy, their productivity, their competitiveness.

Professor Chandra said another purpose was “to see how we can actually improve the institutional infrastructure of research of member countries so that in theory, we will have such good synergy that you will have national research councils, national research institutions and national research programmes working very much together with the university’s own research so that we feed into the national system and the national systems feeds into the regional agenda.”

Minister of Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, Chief Guest at the launch, said that research was an important aspect of education which was very critical to growth and advancement of a society.

“It is research that allows you to interrogate the existing body of knowledge, expand the body of knowledge,” said Minister Reddy.

He added that the strategy employed by USP to focus on relevant themes affecting the public is important it enables the research to be mainstreamed in the societies.

The launch focused on various themes affecting the Pacific region including environment, sustainable development and climate change; Government, public policy and social cohesion; human capacity building and leadership; ICT and knowledge economy; Pacific cultures and societies; Pacific ocean and natural resources.

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