Duchess of Sussex announces new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific

Harry and Meghan at University of South Pacific

The University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University will each receive an ACU Gender Grant to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality.

Announced today (24 October 2018) by HRH The Duchess of Sussex at the University of the South Pacific, these new grants will support women to overcome barriers to progress within higher education.


Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: ‘Universities have the power to lead the way in building a better future for women everywhere. Through education, we not only empower women and girls to reach their potential, we also bring about profound shifts in attitude. Universities, like all of us, must live these values in everything they do, and the ACU Gender Grants exist to support this, helping to tackle discrimination and leading to safer and fairer institutions for their staff and students.

We know this is something that really matters to our members and we are pleased to support two universities in the region as they seek to tackle these barriers at a grassroots level.'

Dr Zakia Ali-Chand, Associate Dean Research, Department of Humanities and Education, Fiji National University, said: ‘In Fiji, established traditions have often presented obstacles to women’s progress. Our goal is to empower women to be recognised, make a valued contribution to some of the major issues we face, and realise their potential for leadership.

‘Our long term objective is to train thirty participants with leadership potential every year, to go on to build successful careers, share knowledge and empower the next generation of young women.'

More information

Since 2016, 18 ACU member institutions have benefited from an ACU Gender Grant, with more than 600 individuals participating in initiatives and workshops designed to tackle issues such as sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Read more here

For further information, please email press@acu.ac.uk