The University of the South Pacific turns 50 today. Established in 1968 and a member of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific, the university represents one of the best examples of partnership working across a region.
The University of the South Pacific is one of only two regionally-owned universities in the world, with 12 country owners: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor acknowledged the vital contribution that the university has made to the region, producing generations of leaders, professionals, academics and public servants across all spheres of community. She also acknowledged those who came through the university as educators and administrators.
In the first gathering of Pacific leaders in the South Pacific Forum held in 1971, leaders recognised the impressive role of the University of the South Pacific in regional cooperation. Although cooperation between countries and territories of the South Pacific was not new, problems of geographical separation, communication and differing colonial administrations made it difficult in the past. The cooperation that was largely between metropolitan powers with administrative responsibilities in the region has now extended to island leaders who are taking more interest in regionalism.
The University of the South Pacific extends across 33 million square kilometers of The Blue Pacific. An area more than three times the size of Europe. More information about regional cooperation can be found at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.