SUVA: The University of the South Pacific (USP) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with specialist digital transformation consulting firm, Spirit of Endeavour Sdn Bhd (Endeavour), which operates from Malaysia and Singapore, to focus on capacity building, enterprise skills development, as well as research and knowledge sharing.

The MoU will allow USP students to benefit from the learning experiences they will gain from some of the Fiji Government projects in which Endeavour is involved, such as the Fiji Ease of Doing Business Project. This programme will also extend to relevant knowledge-sharing activities, including seminars and research projects.

The signing ceremony, held at USP’s Laucala Campus, was witnessed by Fiji Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, SMEs, and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica.

In welcoming the partnership, the Deputy Premier said that the Government of Fiji welcomes such a public–private affiliation which promises the creation of an innovative partnership for capacity building and knowledge sharing which will benefit not only the student community of USP but also other stakeholders including various government agencies as well as the private sector.

Whilst the underlying emphasis will be on the area of digital technology, both parties have also agreed to expand this collaboration to cover other related skill sets suited to the transformation process, as well as that which is covered by the framework of USP’s faculties. Furthermore, the benefits of this capacity-building agenda will have its footprints covering all the nations of the South Pacific which are represented in the network of USP, the region’s largest university.

Endeavour, a consulting firm which specialises in digital innovation and transformation, has established its reputation with successful digital government transformation projects in the Asean region, the Pacific as well as in Africa.

The MoU will also see the escalation of Endeavour’s ongoing internship programme where qualified USP undergraduates are given paid internship opportunities with the Project Management Team, which has given them invaluable learning opportunities drawn from directly working on assignments which contribute to the Ease of Doing Business Projects.

Most of the USP graduates who have served as interns have moved on to build successful careers in either public sector or private sector organisations. Some have also been hired by Endeavour.

At the Signing Ceremony, USP was represented by its deputy vice-chancellor Professor Jito Vanualailai while Endeavour by its co-founders, managing director, KV Soon, and executive director V. Nantha Kumar.

Jito reiterated USP’s commitment to providing an ICT platform for Digital Transformation to support world-class education, research and innovation across its member countries. “This MoU provides a unique opportunity for us to harness the dividends of digital technology in areas of education, research and innovation, as we work together in Shaping Pacific Futures.”

Meanwhile, Soon emphasised Endeavour’s commitment to build on the strengths of his Team’s expertise and experience in the digital transformation sector, to contribute toward supporting the growth of the body of knowledge as well as skill sets on this subject amongst the youth of Fiji and the Pacific Islands.