The Solomon Islands Government in the past two days hosted the 70th University of the South Pacific (USP) Council Meeting in Honiara.

The meeting was held at the Heritage Park Hotel from 12 to 13 May. Representatives from the member countries have since been arriving in the country on the 10 and 11th May.

The Council meetings are held twice a year, in May and October each year. The May meetings are usually held in other countries but October meetings are always held in Fiji.

In the October 2009 Council meeting, the Solomon Islands Education Minister, Matthew Wale, offered to host the 2010 May Council meeting in Solomon Islands.

The USP has 12 member countries including Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Regional Institution receives very strong donor support from Australia, New Zealand, and the EU and recently from Japan

USP has three major campuses, the Laucala Campus in Fiji, Alafua Campus in Samoa and Emalus Campus in Vanuatu plus 11 centres in member countries.

The development of the 4th Campus in Solomon Islands is still a priority for USP and the Solomon Islands government to improve access to tertiary education.

Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit