Report from the urc 2001 Table of Contents

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Report from the URC


Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Administration of Research at USP 2


Agriculture 3


Education and Psychology 5

Language and Literature 11

Pacific Languages Unit 16

Law 19

Pure and Applied Sciences

Biology 23

Chemistry 26

Engineering 32

Food and Textiles 33

Mathematics and Computing Science 35

Physics 37

Earth Science 42

Social and Economic Development

Accounting and Financial Management 44

Economics 45

Geography 45

History/Politics 47

Land Management and Development 47

Management and Public Administration 48

Sociology 48

Centre for Development Studies 49

Marine Affairs Programme 50

MBA Programme 50

Population Studies Programme 50

Tourism Studies Programme 51
University Extension 51
URC Financial Report 52

School Devolved Financial Reports 54

This report is extracted from the annual reports of the Schools and other university units, including the sections on research (and related consultancies).

Administration of Research at USP
Introduction. This section discusses the basic strategy for administration of research at USP. The details can be found in the procedures documents.
Requirements. The action plan of any organization must take into account the characteristics of that organization and try to optimize for those characteristics. In the case of USP, the University is relatively small and isolated, has a high staff turn-over, and has restricted financial resources. Thus an operational plan must:

  • Use a minimum of staff and financial resources

  • Obtain the maximum benefit at minimum cost of staff and financial resources

  • Be designed for ease of continuing operations with changing staff

In order to achieve these aims, the administrative system should rely on existing administrative procedures as much as possible, decentralize tasks to avoid additional bureaucracy (and associated costs), and have clear, simple procedures that can be maintained over time.

Division of Responsibility. There are several units at USP that need to be considered in the administration of research. Two of these, the Planning and Development Office (PDO) and USPSolutions manage relations with external organizations. Another two, the University Research Committee (URC) and the Institutes (principally the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS)) manages and carries out research.

  • The University Research Committee (URC) will fund research by staff (and some students) at USP. URC projects will be primarily concerned with advancing knowledge and understanding rather than commercial applications. Since most of the projects will have a regional focus, the understanding they provide may serve as a basis for economic and social development.

The Schools, Institutes, and University Extension consider projects before they reach the URC. The Schools can give final approval to projects requiring only a small amount of funds.

  • The Institutes of the University will respond to requests for consultancies, short course training, research and other projects needed in the region.

  • USPSolutions is the commercial arm of USP. It specializes in the design and delivery of research, consultancy, training and project management services.

  • The Planning and Development Office (PDO) will manage international aid projects, and can bring research opportunities or funding to the attention of the University Research Committee. The PDO also maintains the USP Directory of Expertise, which provides private and public sector organizations with a listing of available expertise within the University.

Thus the Planning and Development Office and USPSolutions will laise between USP and external organizations, seeking out research opportunities. The Institutes, especially the Institute of Applied Sciences, will carry out externally funded research consultancies, while the University Research Committee manages general research.

School of Agriculture

The School of Agriculture (SOA) of The University of the South Pacific (USP) is situated at the Alafua Campus of the university - approximately 6 km south of Apia, the capital city of Samoa. It shares the campus with the Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture (IRETA) and the USP Samoa Centre. The Alafua Campus was originally the South Pacific Regional College of Tropical Agriculture, established in the early 1960s with New Zealand Assistance under the Colombo Plan. In 1977, the Government of Samoa leased the campus to The University of the South Pacific.

Alafua Campus has a total area of about 82 hectares (ha). This consists of 31 ha at Alafua itself, an 11 ha farm at the nearby Moamoa estate, and a 40 ha farm at Laloanea, situated some 12 km from Alafua. Originally, the Laloanea farm was primarily meant for commercial cattle production, although it was also used for research and teaching.
In 2000, the University approved the request by the School of Agriculture that all the farms of the School, including Laloanea farm, be regarded as laboratories, and not as trading units - as had hitherto been the case. Consequently, with effect from October 2000, the Laloanea farm ceased to be regarded as a commercial farm. Nevertheless, towards the end of 2001, the SOA appointed three of its academic staff members to look into the feasibility of using some 20 hectares of the Laloanea farm for the cultivation of Indian Mulberry (Morinda citrifolia). This is a high-in-demand medicinal plant, which is locally known as 'noni' 'none', 'nono', 'nonu', or 'kura' in the various island nations of the South Pacific. The aim is to combine research into Farming Systems with income generation. In this regard, representatives of the SOA held a preliminary discussion with the Samoa-based Company - Elan Trading (Samoa) in October 2001, to look into the possibility of a joint venture in commercial noni production. Further discussions are expected to take place during 2002.
The SOA plans to use the remaining portion of the Laloanea farm for teaching and for research in the areas of pasture agronomy, fodder production, and some other aspects of crop science/crop production.

  1. Achievements

  1. Containment of the Taro Leaf Blight Disease

The School of Agriculture continued to make improvements on the already successful management of the Taro Leaf Blight (TLB) disease in Samoa by producing new disease-resistant and acceptable taro varieties through its breeding activities. Some of these improved varieties were made available to farmers in the region either directly (in Samoa) or through the Secretariat of the South Pacific (SPC).

  1. Farming Systems Development

Development of some mixed cropping systems, particularly the cassava-yam-beans system and the sweet potato-beans system, which were designed specially for the Melanesian countries, where sweet potato is an important staple. In addition, some taro-based systems, as well as mixtures of vegetable crops, were developed.

  1. EU-funded CROPPRO Project

The SOA secured research funds to the tune of eighty-six thousand Euro (E86000) from the European Union for the continuation of its research project on 'Sustainable Crop Production in Environmentally Constrained Systems in the South Pacific (CROPPRO)'.

  1. Energy and Protein Sources for Goats

Feeding standards (energy and protein) for goats in Samoa were developed - based on the use of browses, legumes, and non-conventional feed ingredients.

  1. Flexible Feeding Systems for Monogastric Livestock

The School developed sustainable and flexible feeding systems for pigs and poultry, based on local feed resources and on a proper understanding of "livestock-human-waste" and feed-food-environment" relationships.

  1. Enhancement of the Nutritive Value of Local Feed Ingredients

Improvement of the nutritive value of local feed ingredients was achieved by using simple, practical, cheap, and adaptable technology.

  1. Poultry Disease Control by Use of the Avian Model

An investigation was conducted into the use of the avian model to study omega-3 fatty acid accretion into the brain, spleen, and heart of growing broiler chickens was executed. The aim was to understand the mechanism and control of the 'sudden death syndrome' in rapidly growing commercial broilers and immune response to diseases. This research was executed in collaboration with the University of Alberta in Canada.

  1. Innovations

  • Continuous production of vegetables by using simple greenhouses

  • Development of strategies for increased use of local feed resources

  • The use of avian model to teach students some relevant aspects of animal anatomy and physiology

  1. Challenges

  • The dearth of research equipment and other facilities in all the four Departments of the School of Agriculture continued to pose problems in teaching and research

  • The School of Agriculture does not have any trained laboratory or field technician. Hard-working as the are, all the technical hands gained their experience on the job. This places serious limitations on research execution by academic staff, who, therefore, often have to combine their own duties with those of technicians. The same applies when it comes to conducting practical classes.

  • The Agricultural Engineering section of the SOA needs a substantial amount of funds to bring the Engineering Workshop even close to the standard needed for both research and teaching in this very crucial sub-discipline of Agriculture.

School of Humanities
SOH continued to support a growing research culture, which has been enhanced by expanding postgraduate student numbers and new staff appointments. In 2001 there were about 60 postgraduate students enrolled in the School.
Department of Education and Psychology
As can be seen later in the report, staff members have been active in research and publications. Many have presented invited addresses and conference papers at local and international meetings and conferences. The decision by the RMC to devolve part of the research funding to schools should boost our research effort. Several members of the Department have responded to requests from National Governments and other organisations for support and advise on specific projects and workshops on an informal basis. The Department continued its programme of seminars and presentations given both by our staff and visiting scholars.
Peter Forster
a) Forster, P. M. 2001. Virtual Communities. In Forster, P. M. and Meltzer, G. (Eds) Proceedings of the 7th International Communal Studies Association Conference.
b) Forster, P. M. and Meltzer, G. (Eds) 2001. Proceedings of the 7th International Communal Studies Association Conference.

Joyce Heeraman
Joyce Heeraman (2001) Catering for Children with Special Learning Needs Teachers Manual: Institute of Education, Suva, Fiji.
Joyce Heeraman (2001) “Exceptional Individuals and Special Education”. Pacific Curriculum Network, Vol. 9, No. 2, Dec. 2000.
Joyce Heeraman (2001) “Children with Behaviour Problems”. Continuing Education, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.
Akanisi Kedrayate
a) Kedrayate, A. (2001) why Non-Formal Education in Fiji? Directions No. 1 June, 2001, p.p. 75-96.
Unaisi Nabobo
a) Nabobo, U. (2001) Education and Indigenous Fijians: Challenges; the Year 2000 and Beyond. Directions. Journal of Educational Studies 23 (2001) 1:56 – 74.
Nabobo, U. (2000) Teacher Education in an aided project: the case of the Fiji–Australia Teacher Education Project (FATEP). Directions: Journal of Educational Studies. 22 (2000) 1: 97–115.
Thimmappa Purushothama Rao
a) Sutherland, L. & Thimmappa, P. (2001) Participants' Perceptions of the Goals of the Practicum in a Teacher Education Program. SUT01733 - AARE, (online) < >
Akhila Nand Sharma
Sharma, A. (2001) “Technical Studies in Secondary Schools in Fiji: A Modular Approach”. In Directions. Number 45, Volume 23, Number 2, December 2001 (In print).

b) Sharma, A (2001) “The teacher’s workbook: Is it an effective planning tool?” In Pacific Curriculum Network (In print- submitted in 2001).

Ueta Solomona
Compiled three song books with the assistance of students and Part Time-Tutors in the year 2001:

Popular Religious Songs for Voice and Piano – Music Edition.

Fijian Song Book (Words Edition only).

Pacific Island Indian Songs – Words only (Co-edited by Solomona and V. Nand).

Teweiariki Teaero
a) Demystifying the abstract in art. In R. Nicole (ed) Niu Waves: contemporary writing from Oceania, Oceania. Suva: Pacific Writing Forum and Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. Pp. 155-158.
b) Anti musée. A poem published in R. Nicole (ed) Niu Waves: contemporary writing from Oceania, Oceania. Suva: Pacific Writing Forum and Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. Pp. 35.

c) Three ink drawings were published in SPAN - Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies Nos 50/51, April & October 2001, pp, 58, 60, 62.

Fish eyes flower.

Eye in the sky.

Eel follows she.
Konai Helu-Thaman
a) Open and Flexible Learning for Whom? Rethinking Distance Education. Directions 23 (2001)1:3-22.
b) Interfacing global and indigenous knowledge. In UNESCO Plenary Papers, Panel 2, Sixth UNESCO-ACEID International Conference on Information Technologies in Educational Innovation for Development, Bangkok, Dec. 2000, UNESCO Publishing, p.1-6.
David Womack
a) Published article (on Internet and in Proceedings): “Children’s Intuition and African Insights: An alternative framework for number?” (BCME4).

Conference Papers/Invited Addresses

Bisun Deo
Twelve Countries and A Thousand Cultures: Intercultural Understanding at the University of the South Pacific. Paper Presented at the 25th Pacific Circle Consortium, Christchurch, New Zealand, September.
Peter Forster
a) ‘Virtual Communities’ - An invited address to a plenary session on 'The Future of Communities' at the International Communal Studies Association Conference held in Belzig, Germany in June 2001.
Joyce Heeraman
Guest Speaker, Suva Special School Open Day, 28/11/01: Helping/Supporting Children with Special Needs – a partnership.
Invited Address, Suva School for the Blind, 12/10/01, re Opportunities for Staff Development.
Desma Hughes
a) Hughes, D (April, 2001). "The South Pacific Context for Early Childhood Education", Seminar presentation at Waikato University, NZ
b) Hughes, D (May, 2001). "Early Childhood Education in the South Pacific" Seminar presentation at QUT, Brisbane.
Akanisi Kedrayate
a) "Leadership for Change". Paper delivered as Keynote Address on 44th Annual General Meeting of the Fiji Nursing Association. Khatriya Hall, January 27, 2001.
b) "Leading Team of Professionals". Paper presented at the Opening of the Workshop for Senior Managers in the Public Service Commission, Government Training Centre, Nasese, Suva, Fiji - September, 18, 2001.
c) "Education for Nation Building: How Non-Formal Education Contributes". Paper delivered at the Fiji Principal's Association Conference, Civic Centre, Labasa, Fiji, September 27, 2001.
Unaisi Nabobo
Rethinking Pacific Education: The Onslaught of the Tiger”. Paper presented at the Colloquium of Pacific Educators, IOE, Suva in Collaboration with the School of Education, Victoria University, Wellington. Suva. 25 – 27 April 2001.
With Teweiariki Teaero and Bisun Deo. “Twelve countries and a thousand cultures: inter-cultural understanding at the University of the South Pacific”. A joint Seminar presentation at the Pacific Circle Consortium’s 25th Annual Conference on Interconnections: exploring values, identity, citizenship and other educational issues in the Pacific/Asia region. Christchurch College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand. 26 – 28 September 2001.
Indigenous Fijian Education: Epistemology, Worldview and Desirable Values – Implication on Western Schooling” – Individual paper to the Pacific Circle Consortium’s 25th Annual Conference on Interconnections: exploring values, identity, citizenship and other educational issues in the Pacific/Asia region. Christchurch College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand. 26 – 28 September 2001.
With Teweiariki Teaero and Bisun Deo. “Varied notions of knowledge and values: implications on teaching and learning”. School of Humanities, University of the South Pacific, Brown Bag Seminar, USP, Suva, October 29, 2001.
Group Assessments: Altering Methods to Achieve Learning Outcomes”. Seminar Paper presented for the Professional Development of Fiji School of Medicine and Fiji Institute of Technology Staff, FIT, Samabula, Suva. Tuesday 07 November 2001.
Thimmappa Purushothama Rao
a) Invited to address the primary school teachers on Value Education at the District Resource Unit workshop conducted by the Department of Education (BDO), Mysore Division, Mysore, India, 2nd Feb.2001.
b) Invited to address the principals and teachers at Levuka High Scool and St. Jhon College, Levuka, 12th July, 2001.

Subject: Consensus Moderation Procedures

c) Invited to address the students and staff at Vatuavalevu High School, Nadi, 5 Sep.2001.

Subject: Internalising Values for Better Future Life

d) Invited to address the Head Teacher and the teachers at St. Andrews primary School, Nadi, 11 Feb.2002.

Subject: Assessment and Teaching of Mathematics.

e) Invited to address the Principal and the teachers at Nawai Secondary School, Nadi, 13th Feb.2002.

Subject: Teachers' Personal Management

Akhila Nand Sharma

Managing curriculum with special reference to the Fiji College of Agriculture” A paper presented to the lecturers of the Fiji College of Agriculture at a one-week course that was organised by the Centre for Professional Development of the Fiji Institute of Technology on 31 January 2001 at Centra Hotel, Deuba.

b) “Moral purpose in education”- An addressed delivered at Natabua High School during the stakeholders conference on 9 June 2001. I was also the consultant for this conference.

c) “Workload formula for the academic staff of the Department of Education and Psychology”. A discussion paper presented during the Department of Education and Psychology’s retreat at Naviti Resort on 15 September 2001. It was accepted in principle.

d) “School leadership in the context of the Pacific”A discussion paper presented during a conference for directors of education and principals of medium to large Seventh-day Adventist Schools in the Pacific Island nations at Fulton College on 17 September 2001.

e) “Character building: A personal agenda” – An address delivered during the annual prize-giving ceremony of Vashist Muni Memorial Primary School, Navua on 27 November 2001.

Teweiariki Teaero
a) Old challenges, "new" response to educational issues in Kiribati. Paper presented at the Colloquium of Pacific Island Educators on "Re-thinking Pacific Education". Institute of Education, The University of the South Pacific, in collaboration with the School of Education, Victoria University. Suva, 25 - 27 April 2001.
b) With Unaisi Nabobo and Bisun Deo. Twelve countries and a thousand cultures: inter-cultural understanding at The University of the South Pacific. A joint panel presentation at the Pacific Circle Consortium 25th Annual Conference on Interconnections: exploring values, identity, citizenship and other educational issues in the Pacific/Asia region. Christchurch College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand. 26 - 28 September.
c) Eutia mai nanoaa: looking inwards for solutions to contemporary educational challenges. A public lecture. USP Centre, Tarawa, Kiribati. 13th June.
d) Tirobaean te kairiiri raoi ae reke man te reirei raoi. (Focussing on good leadership and the role of education). Keynote address given at the celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the independence of Kiribati. Majuro, Marshall Islands. 14th July.
e) Mother, Oceania Circle and Perfect forms. Poems read for the Pacific Writing Forum performances at the USP Open Day. 14th Sept.
f) With Unaisi Nabobo and Bisun Deo. Varied notions of knowledge and values: implications on teaching and learning. School of Humanities Brown Bag Seminar. USP, Suva. 29th Oct.
g) Feasting on verses. Poem read at Niu Waves' Mo' Heat Reading Night. Traps Back Bar, Suva. 22nd March.
h) Natural meal. Poem read at Niu Waves' Mo' Heat Reading Night. Traps Back Bar, Suva. 22nd March.
i) Vast canvas. Poem read at Niu Waves' Mo' Heat Reading Night. Traps Back Bar, Suva. 22nd March.
j) Stretching, Oceania Circle and Magic You. Poems read at the Explosive explorations: exhibition and performances of ED182 students' work. Music Centre, USP, Suva. 25th Oct.
Konai Helu-Thaman
a) Towards a Pacific Philosophy of Education: the role of teachers. Keynote address, Fijian Teachers’ Association Annual Meeting, Suva, Jan.11, 2001.
b) What Lies Ahead. Farewell address on behalf of the USP Community to the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Deputy Bursar, Laucala Campus, Feb., 2001.
c) Creating a Decent Society. Fiji Institute of Technology Graduation Address, Suva, April 27, 2001.
d) Towards Cultural Democracy in Pacific Education: an imperative for the 21st Century. Keynote Address, NZODA/USP Colloquium on Re-visiting Pacific Education, University of the South Pacific, Suva, April 24-27, 2001.
e) The Tree of Opportunity. Presentation to Pacific Forum Ministers of Education Meeting, Auckland, May 2001.
f) Towards Multicultural Literacy: an imperative for a democratic society. Keynote address, Suva Head-teachers Association Annual Conference, Holiday Inn, Suva, May 31, 2001.
g) Towards Culturally Inclusive Teacher Education with specific references to Oceania. Keynote address, World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, Seoul, S. Korea, July 2-6, 2001.
h) Reclaiming Pacific Images: a view of Communication and Peace. Keynote address, International Association of Media and Communication Research Conference, Budapest, Sept.6-10, 2001.
i) Women and University Management in Oceania: a summary paper. Australian Senior Women’s Colloquium, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Nov.2-3, 2001.
j) Sustainability and the University: the Cultural Challenge. Keynote address, Asia/Pacific Symposium on Sustainability in Higher Education, Griffiths University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Dec.3, 2001.
k) A curriculum for Cultural Literacy. Invited Address, Senior Education Officers’ Seminar on the Fiji Cultural Studies Curriculum, CDU, Ministry of Education, Fiji, Dec.6, 2001.
David Womack
“Counting Mental Strategies as New Mathematical Operations” to “Maths into the 21st Century Project”. International Conference held at Palm Springs, Australia.

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