Talofa and welcome to The University of the South Pacific, Tuvalu Campus. Tuvalu, was formerly known as the Ellice Islands in the Gilbert and Ellice Island colony. It comprises nine islands. These are scattered over 1.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean stretching in a North-South direction between latitudes 5 and 11 degrees south and over longitudes 176 and 180 degrees east. The total land area is 25.6 square kilometers. The population of Tuvalu is ethnically Polynesian, having close ties with Samoa and Tokelau. Its local language is closely related to that used in Samoa. The population is estimated to be around 10,000.