University’s local student body wants resolution

Friday 5 February 2021 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Education, Regional

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The local student body of the University of the South Pacific has put their trust in the principles of good governance of the University to solve its internal issues.

The Student Association of the University of the South Pacific Cook Islands Campus would like to see the issue surrounding the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia resolved.

Earlier this week, Ahluwalia and his wife were deported from Fiji to Australia. The Fijian government stated that Ahluwalia and his wife breached the Immigration Act.

University’s Cook Islands student council president Mani Mate said: “The view of the USP Student Association Cook Islands Campus is that this is an unfortunate event that can adversely affect staff and student morale and trust in the principles of good governance of the University.”

“We hope that the USP Council can come to a fair resolution that is in the best interest of all stakeholders.”

The Council which is the executive governing body of the University met yesterday. Education minister Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa represented Cook Islands at the virtual meeting.

Mate said the student body would like to see this issue resolved at the earliest opportunity “as not to impede” on the upcoming semester.

According to Fijian media, Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia was not allowed to attend the USP Council meeting yesterday.

Professor Ahluwalia through his Twitter page yesterday said: “Although Fiji cancelled my work permit and frustrated my contract in a premeditated move, it is only Council that had the right to hire or dismiss the VCP. Please keep up your prayers for good to win over evil.”

University of the South Pacific is owned by the governments of 12 Pacific island countries, including Cook Islands.