The University of the South Pacific (USP) in partnership with Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is embarking on a project to support skills development and capacity building among small island states of the Pacific with open, flexible and distance learning methods.

The focus of this engagement will be on the following areas:

  • Skills development;
  • Resilience education;
  • Secondary education; and
  • Youth development

A particular focus of this work will be on capacity building in vulnerable and disadvantaged peoples. This includes considerations for gender, people with disabilities, and out of school youth. These will operate as both cross-cutting issues and areas for specific support.

The selection of these key areas and the crosscutting themes are informed by the Pacific Regional Education Framework 2018-2030 (2018), the Commonwealth of Learning’s Strategy for Engagement in the Pacific Region 2017-2021, and in consultation with USP.

The aim of working in these key areas is to improve educational outcomes and foster sustained livelihoods for citizens of small island states of the Pacific.

The goal is to build capacity and enable learning for sustainable development, in response to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular, SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Relevant interventions will be developed through this partners and implemented by the Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD), located at USP, with funding support from MFAT.

The first phase of this initiative comprises a survey of sustainable development goals and needs in the Pacific island nations in the areas identified.

Data derived from this survey of goals and needs will inform how resources are allocated and the design of activities relative to those areas of development identified. To view and/or participate in the survey, please visit the link at:

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