The Acting Vice Chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Professor Basil Shelton Marasinghe says the University’s immediate goal is to be the best University in the South Pacific Region.
“And the (our) ultimate target is to become one of the more recognized universities in the world.”
Acting VC Marasinghe stated this during the University’s fourth graduation held at the Maranatha Hall in East Honiara, yesterday.
However he said, to achieve these goals, policies and infrastructure and other positive measures taken alone are not sufficient.
“We should also have a highly qualified and experienced academic staff and highly capable and experienced general staff as well.
“Currently, 20% of our academic staff are pursuing masters and PhDs in universities abroad.
“There are some planning to commence research leading Master’s and Doctoral degrees here in our university.
“We have also recruited nearly 10 academics with PhDs within the last couple of years.
“However, in the short to medium term, we have to depend on recruiting persons from outside SINU either from Solomon Islands or even from foreign countries who can drive the academic programs and mentor our junior academics,” he said.
Mr Marasinghe said one of the most important role for SINU is to contribute to Nation Building.
“Unfortunately, these days much of the focus is on universities offering “demand driven courses” only to promote economic growth.
“However, I think equally important are the contributions a university can make to culture, political stability, and positive social change.
“To build a strong nation we need to train a whole range of manpower including scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, school teachers, engineers, health workers, educators, social scientists, thinkers and philosophers, etc.
“Almost all disciplines are important and play part in growth and development of a nation.
“I am confident that in years to come SINU will emerge as a strong institution producing capable and strong human resource that can bring about positive economic change and at the same time influence transformation of societies and communities to live a prosperous, healthy and happy life,” he stated.
Meanwhile, yesterday hundreds of students were being removed from graduation after they were told by some lecturers that their names were not on the final list.
Reasons for the denial were still not known as Solomon Fresh-Beat Online attempts to get comments from the University authorities yesterday to explain the hiccup were unsuccessful.
However, one lecturer explained to Solomon Fresh-Beat Online that such situation can only occur when sponsors fail to pay up students’ complete fees without the knowledge of the students.
“Some of the students may have been studying under constituency funding from MPs. The MPs would normally inform the students that their fees were already paid when actually the fees are only partly paid,” the lecturer said.
He said another reason is students failing exams or failing to meet the required pass line.
He added that whatever reasons there were for the sudden removal of the students from the graduation venue, the SINU administration should warn the students beforehand.
Yesterday’s graduation marks the fourth since SINU was turned from a College.
About 1,700 students were earmarked for yesterday’s graduation.
© Solomon Fresh-Beat Online