NATION

University Of Fiji Turns 10

Staff and students of the University of Fiji helped celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Saweni Campus in Lautoka yesterday. Chief guest, Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy emphasised the importance
06 Mar 2015 10:22
University Of Fiji Turns 10
Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy (fourth from left), along with senior members of the University of Fiji cutting the cake to mark its 10th anniversary at the Saweni Campus in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: Sheetal Prasad

Staff and students of the University of Fiji helped celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Saweni Campus in Lautoka yesterday.

Chief guest, Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy emphasised the importance of tertiary education, as part of the Government’s comprehensive approach to addressing needs in this area.

“University of Fiji plays a very important role in Government’s education vision,” he said.

“This Government is recognising the importance of building a knowledge society and its contribution towards a country we all want to have.”

Mr Reddy also emphasised the quality of graduates that universities needed to produce.

“University of Fiji not only changed the whole ball game of tertiary education in Fiji but also opened up opportunities at different levels.

“The University of Fiji has made remarkable achievements over its 10 years of existence.

“With a professor to student ratio, it has a higher number of professors then established universities,” he said.

Acting vice-chancellor Professor Narendra Reddy said, “We have grown from 174 students in 2005 to over 2000 students today.

“This year our growth rate is more than 30 per cent which is in our corporate plan. We have 700 new people who have joined us.

“We have progressively included new programmes since we started, in addition to the traditional subjects we have.

“In 2008 we started the MBBS programme, in 2010 we started the MBA programme and this year we started the master of nursing programme.

“So we have grown, you might see our physical facilities don’t look very big but we have 2000 students now.”

Apart from the two major campuses in Suva and Saweni, the university has students in other towns and even Pacific island countries.

Those part-time students learn through distance and flexible learning and attend classes through video conferencing.

“Our fee structure is quite low so we are attracting people and also most of our students are coming from home directly.

“Sixty per cent of students are women as they are quite happy to send them from home instead of sending them to Suva.

“Our main achievement is that people who may not have opportunity to go to the university, we have open doors for them.

“We are futuristic, we are accessible, and we are affordable.

“Any university or growing university faces issues. We need more resources for our capital work and other facilities.

“We have 10 acres of land available but we need more classrooms and lecture rooms and to upgrade our furniture.

“We are committed and we have a $2.5million expansion in the Suva Campus but also need that to happen in the Saweni Campus.

“Our programmes are globally recognised, such as the medical and law programmes and we are working on the MBA recognition,” he said.

Feedback: sheetalp@fijisun.com.fj

 




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