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USP VC Admits Challenges Producing Job-ready Grads

USP VC Admits Challenges Producing Job-ready Grads
University of Fiji’s new Vice Chancellor, Premnarine Misir, speaking during the TOPEX Conference at The Warwick Fiji yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO News
October 03
10:48 2015

University of the South Pacific Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra has stressed having job ready graduates is not the same as producing graduates for a knowledge-based society.

While he agrees that USP has the capacity to produce graduates for a knowledge-based society, he believes there are challenges to produce job ready graduates.

Professor Chandra was speaking during the Top Executives (TOPEX) Conference at The Warwick Fiji , on the Coral Coast yesterday.

His topic was on “Producing work-ready graduates for knowledge-based society”.

This has become a topical issue following scathing comments earlier from Education Minister Mahendra Reddy on the quality of graduates.


Solution for challenges

But Professor Chandra said the challenges could possibly be overcome by partnership with employers.

“Partnership with employers, the engagement of employers in curriculum and placing our students in workplace is important,” he said.

“But it is equally important these graduates are educated to be curious, to be able to thrive with change.

“All of those things are very important. We also have a situation where you have to worry about which job you are training for.”

In 2014, USP had about 71 per cent of graduates who were in workforce either full-time or part-time within four months of graduation.

“Capacity for leadership, working with others and diversity are some of the things we embed in our students but we also want to make sure our students have good written and oral English,” he said.

“We are trying to produce graduates that can make a success of themselves.”

Professor Chandra stated that these days, having just a degree was not enough.

“You can’t create a knowledgeable society with people with only basic degrees,” he said.

“We need more people with Masters and PhDs and we need people to go beyond and do research.”

Professor Chandra has invited industry stakeholders to engage more actively with USP and other universities.



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