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Host option – Vanuatu willing to take in USP VC Ahluwalia
10:44 pm GMT+12, 21/02/2021, Vanuatu

Vanuatu is ready and willing to host University of the South Pacific (USP) vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.
 
This was the word from Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman.
 
He publicly declared that the USP Emalus Campus in Vanuatu was ready to host Prof Ahluwalia after his forceful removal from Fiji earlier this month.
 
Loughman said Vanuatu as one of the 12-member countries was willing to give a work permit and prepare to host Prof Ahluwalia.
 
He called on other USP member countries who were not pleased with the shenanigans to voice their opinions to the council. Loughman also called on the Fijian Government to work with the USP Council and management.
 
“Provide a solution, hence appoint a USP vice-chancellor as soon as possible before the travelling of students if no, no travel of students,” he said.
 
Loughman said the appointment of the VC should be done before the starting date of semester one.
 
“We need to be reminded that USP is owned by 12-member countries and any issue of any breach within each country policy should be written direct to council as the highest body to deal with any issue.”
 
Loughman said he had hope in God that the USP saga would soon come to an end.
 
Meanwhile, Fiji withheld its grant contribution of $27.7 million (US$11.1 million) to the University of the South Pacific but the regional institution continues to function because vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia took measures to ensure its financial stability.
 
Chancellor and Nauru President Lionel Aingimea said the grants for the years 2020 and 2021 would have made it easier for the USP to run its operations but the institution “has not stopped working” despite the setback.
 
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had told Parliament that Government had requested an independent investigation into allegations raised by the university’s pro-chancellor and the chair of the audit risk committee.
 
He said the funds would only be released if an independent investigation was conducted.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS


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