The University of the South Pacific (USP) is an intergovernmental organisation and public research university with a number of locations spread throughout a dozen countries in Oceania. It is an international centre for teaching and research on Pacific culture and environment. USP's academic programmes are recognised worldwide, attracting students and staff from throughout the Pacific Region and internationally. The colonial link and the establishment of the University of the South Pacific in 1968 allowed the education system to follow suit from the qualification system of the Commonwealth. The University of the South Pacific is the only university in the Oceania region to be internationally recognised outside of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Guam with its bachelor's and other awards programme. USP is owned by the governments of 12 Pacific Island countries: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.