The site offered by the Solomon Islands Government to the University of the South Pacific for the establishment of its fourth campus is now ready for this project development.
Sections of the site currently accommodate the King George Sixth School ancillary staff quarters commonly known the King George Sixth Labour Line. These quarters will be demolished before the end of next month.
The Supervising Minister for Education and Human Resources, Hon John Dean Kuku revealed this in Parliament when responding to a question by the Leader of the Independent Group, Hon Derek Sikua about the progress of the fourth USP Campus project.
Hon Kuku said preparatory work for the implementation of the project is overseen by the Solomon Islands Government and a USP-Solomon Islands Campus Development Taskforce chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development.
He said the taskforce was established specifically to ensure the allocated site is ready for the development of the fourth USP Campus project.
Minister Kuku said significant progress has been made since the project started in 2014 and the key achievements to date are as follows;
- Completion of Feasibility studies and reports. The feasibility studies carried out by the ADB included due diligence initial environment examination and a USP academic plan and finance and economic study;
- Completion of Topographic Survey and submission of report to USP. The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey;
- Completion of Assessment and Clearance of Unexploded Ordnance exercise;
- Transfer of land title from the Solomon Islands Government (Commissioner of Lands) to USP;
- Completion of fencing around site;
- Completion of new road to the site; and
- Construction of 12 new houses at King George Sixth School for the relocation of its ancillary staff to make way for the demolition of the current ancillary staff housing quarters; and
- Demolition of the King George Sixth ancillary staff quarters to be done before the end of April 2017.
Minister Kuku said, “With these key achievements, the land offered by the Solomon Islands Government is now ready to be developed by USP into its fourth campus.”
He said the cost of fourth USP Campus project stands at USD$16.9-Million and $15.4-Million of this sum will be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to USP in the form of loan whilst the remainder -$1.5-Million- will also be provided by the ADB but in the form of grant. The Solomon Islands Government is providing the Sovereign Guarantee for the loan.
The Supervising Minister for Education and Human Resources said the fourth USP Campus will offer courses that are currently offered at the USP Solomon Islands Centre and additional courses.
He added that the Solomon Islands Government will be at liberty to suggest the introduction of any other courses based on the needs of Solomon Islands.
Minister Kuku said the establishment of the fourth USP campus in Solomon Islands will see a reduction in the number of students going for studies abroad, especially at the main USP Campus in Fiji.