NEWS

An Alumni’s Success Journey

The inaugural Fiji National University alumni event is expected to bring brilliant minds together from former students who started their journey at the national university and have made it big.
15 Oct 2016 11:00
An Alumni’s Success Journey
Professor Jugdutt Singh at FNU yesterday. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua

The inaugural Fiji National University alumni event is expected to bring brilliant minds together from former students who started their journey at the national university and have made it big.

Homecoming Weekend is a two-day reunion which began last night and finishes today.

Today’s event will be opened by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy at 10am with fun-filled activities.

It concludes with a dinner with the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate as chief guest.

FNU vice-chancellor Professor Nigel Healey has said the event would be a significant achievement for the FNU Alumni Association. The association has become an integral part of the university and its development.

Last night, to begin the event, one of the alumni’s successful professors as well as a former staff member shared his journey to success.

This is his story.

Success is a problem and failure is a formula. Unless you know the formula you can’t solve the problem.

This is the motto for Professor Jugdutt (Jack) Singh, an alumni and former staff member of the then Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) now FNU.

Professor Singh is currently the director for Digital Innovation and Translation at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

He gave a moving lecture of his success story during the inaugural Fiji National University Homecoming Weekend at the FNU Nasinu Campus.

Like Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk To Freedom’, so too has his long journey to success been.

“I came from a very poor family. My parents were rice farmers,” he said.

“Every day when I returned from school I had to go to our farm and graze cattle, plant rice and do the farm work to get money to support my family.”

He attended Vunimono Arya Primary School and DAV College then went onto work at FIT as a mechanical technician.

“I had to make sure that the tools were in the proper place, everything was in order,” he recalled while working as technician, which was also the turning point in his life.

“Then one day I say to myself, ‘No! I can’t keep doing this, I need to educate myself’ and this is where my journey begins.

“I worked full-time and it was here that I had to opportunity to study Diploma in Engineering.

“I knew one thing was for sure that – to be successful in life you need to work hard.”

And it did just that.

“The outcome was, I scored very high marks,” he said.

Years later, Professor Singh would be awarded the British Government Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom. He was recognised with first-class honours, the highest form of awards for British-based undergraduate degree classification. There are five classifications altogether.

Then he won a Canadian Government Scholarship to continue his academic path to obtain a masters degree in Canada.

By the time he returned to Fiji, he became the deputy vice principal for FIT.

His academic achievements continued. His international reputation as an ICT researcher and administrator grew.

He said in Suva yesterday: “I want to see what I can give back to FNU in particular, because that is where my transformation started.

“It was my parents who really motivated me. I feel very proud seeing what education has done to me,” he said.

 

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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