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Reddy Meets IPENZ Delegates

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy met with the accreditation team from the Institute of Professional Engineers from New Zealand  (IPENZ) yesterday. The purpose of the meeting was
12 Apr 2016 11:28
Reddy Meets IPENZ Delegates
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy met with the accreditation team from the Institute of Professional Engineers from New Zealand  (IPENZ) yesterday.

The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Minister about their accreditation visit to University of the South Pacific and discuss ways to assist the local universities, particularly, USP and FNU, on improving the quality of their engineering programmes and qualifications.

“We are here on an accreditation visit to USP to look at their two Engineering programmes, with a view to accrediting them under IPENZ. For Fiji, that’s important because it means that Fijians can travel overseas, to work overseas with much greater ease and come back and set standards in Fiji,” said Basil Wakelin, IPENZ rep.

Mr Reddy advised the team that before they begin the accreditation process, they need to consider certain important aspects, for example, how the individual units are pitched at a particular level, are the workshops supporting that to deliver the relevant learning outcomes and if there are experts to teach these programmes.

“I hope that you will put that level of scrutiny and fix the gaps for every process,” Mr Reddy said.

Mr Wakelin agreed with the areas of attention highlighted by Mr Reddy and added that the level of programme is the first thing that they will look at.

Mr Reddy further suggested that in a small country like Fiji, we can have joint programmes for USP and FNU.

“Since the engineering programmes require a heavy capital investment, there can be sharing of units, instead of both universities having their own programme structure.”

Mr Reddy highlighted that we have a lot of interest and we want to make the programmes at our tertiary institutions better and bring it to regional and international standards.

According to Mr Pratarp Singh, the President of the South Pacific Engineers Association, New Zealand has a very strong Professional Engineers Institute, so he is trying to work with the FHEC as well, to improve the programmes in Fiji.

The IPENZ team commented that the idea of Technical College programmes is very interesting and encouraging.

The Minister acknowledged their effort for coming over to assist our universities with this accreditation process which will allow the Fijian Government and the New Zealand government to work together in improving the quality of education in Fiji.

 

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