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'Witch-hunts' and whistleblowers: University of the South Pacific in crisis

By ITS Education Asia

While working as a volunteer aid worker in the South Pacific I studied my accounting qualification at the University of the South Pacific so was very disappointed to see this recent article talking about the current problems from this excellent resource for the peoples of the Pacific countries.

The university has endured 12 months of scandal, beset by allegations of widespread financial mismanagement, abuse of entitlements, unearned promotions and millions of dollars improperly spent.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) is one of only two regional universities in the world, and has long been seen as a leading example of Pacific cooperation at work.

Jointly owned by 12 countries – with campuses in all – and 20,000 students from across the region, it has produced generations of Pacific leaders since its inception in 1968, and has been a crucible for pan-Pacific political movements around independence and democratisation, as well as the region’s anti-nuclear campaign.

The current furore has been described by alumni and staff as one of the greatest crises in the institution’s history.

One hopes that the problems faced by the university can be quickly sorted out and the institution can focus on providing high quality education to the peoples of the Pacific again.




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