This morning's most dignified and auspicious occasion of installing the new Chancellor and graduation ceremony for Tonga's University graduates was attended by members of the Royal Family - Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau'u, Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, the Queen Mother and Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita. The Acting Prime Minister and distinguished members of His Majesty's Cabinet, Parliament and Diplomatic Corps were also present at the installation.
The ceremony was opened by the USP Vice Chancellor and President of the University, Professor Rajesh Chandra, who welcomed the new Chancellor, members of the USP Council and graduates of 2013.
The appointment and formal installation of His Majesty as Chancellor continues the tradition of the appointment of people of distinction around the region, which is the titular head of the University and confers the qualifications of the University.
His Majesty King Tupou VI is the 20th Chancellor of the University. His Majesty continues in the tradition of Chancellors who are persons of distinction throughout the South Pacific region including His Late Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV; H.E. the late Hammer DeRoburt of Nauru; the late Rt. Hon. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara of Fiji, Rt. Hon. Ieremia Tabai of Kiribati, H.H. the late Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II of Samoa, the late Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Henry of the Cook Islands, H.E. Litokwa Tomeing of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Head of State of Samoa and the Governor General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Kabui.
The former Chancellor was the Ulu-o-Tokelau, His Excellency Aliki Faipule Kerisiano Kalolo and his term was completed on 30th June 2013.
According to the report by the Pro Chancellor and Chair of the USP Council, Mr Ikbal Jannif, Tonga is one of the most prestigious influx of USP alumni, with nearly 1400 Tongans graduating from USP since 1968. This morning's graduation ceremony awarded 170 students certificates, diplomas and degrees, 23% of which are at the undergraduate level and 42% are at postgraduate level. Forty four students received a Masters of Business Administration, from the extension course offered at Tonga's Atele Extension Campus.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) was established in 1968, and is owned by the governments of 12 Pacific Island countries consisting of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu with more than 14 campuses around the region.
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2013