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Enrolments Grown Strongly Since 2016: Professor Healey

Enrolments Grown Strongly Since 2016: Professor Healey
March 12
15:46 2018

The government says there are 2,589 confirmed cases mostly in the country’s Central Division

Fiji National University (FNU) enrolments grew strongly in year 2017 and are expected to be well higher in 2018.

As at February 12, 2018, 15,625 students have enroled compared to  13,390 in 2017. That was an increase of 14 per cent.

In year 2014 a total of 34,524 students enrolled, year 2015, 29,035, year 2016, 25,958, year 2017, 27,067 students got enrolled in different colleges.

FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey said that a period of instability following policy changes in 2014-2015 and enrolments at FNU had grown strongly since 2016.

“There were a total of 378 foreign students currently enrolled in 2018 at FNU,” Professor Healey said.

“The numbers would increase when the enrolment is finalised.

“There were presently a total of 14 Exchange students currently enrolled at FNU under the ECCAM Project (EU funded project).

“He said that new programmes had been introduced across all Colleges at the University based on demand,” he said.

“Existing programmes had been comprehensively restructured to fit with the new University wide undergraduate norms of semester based programmes with common credit sizes and aligned with international benchmarks to ensure that FNU provides high-quality tertiary level education.

“The National Training & Productivity Centre had also added a range of new short courses to ensure to meet the demand from employers for in-service, on-the-job training.

“Developing and launching of new programmes was a time-consuming process. It started with the College demonstrating that there was a need for the new programme, normally evidenced by requests from employers through the Industry Advisory Committees, supported by analysis of the cost of provision and the scale of the likely demand.

“The programme was then developed by academic staff within a College (or Colleges in the case of an interdisciplinary programme), who then had to justify to the Senate that the programme was both industrially-relevant and academically sound,” Professor Healey said.

“Thereafter, it had to be submitted to the Fiji Higher Education Commission for scrutiny before being added to the national register of approved programmes and, in many cases, it also had to satisfy the requirement of relevant professional bodies.

“The University only made those investments in new programmes after being satisfied that there were potential demands and that the new programme would support the economic and social development of Fiji.”

He said for some courses like medicine (MBBS) and aircraft engineering, they had to limit the number of enrolments because there were constraints on the number of students they could train and/or the number of jobs available after graduation.

“For example, medical students had to undertake clinical attachments in public hospitals while they were studying, and those had to be supervised by senior doctors,” he said.

“There was a limit to the number of clinical attachments the public hospitals could accept.  Once they graduate, medical students had to undertake a period of attachment or residency in a hospital while they ‘rotate’ through the various disciplines, which also had to be supervised by senior doctors.

“If we were to admit too many Year 1 medical students, they would either not get the proper practical training or not find jobs on graduation,” he said.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar




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