A large crowd comprising of newly-enrolled students, parents and guardians were present at the National Gymnasium in Suva this morning to be part of the Orientation ceremony for Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS).
The audience was greeted by the University administration including Vice-Chancellor Professor Toby Wilkinson, College Dean Dr William May and staff from Office of the Registrar and the CMNHS. The three and half hour briefing session also featured entertainment which received huge applause from guests.
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) student Reha Kumar and Bachelor of Health Promotion student Esiteri Salele were among the many students who attended today’s session and described it as useful and informative.
“FNU is a very prestigious institution and I am excited to be part of it. Through the Orientation session, I was able to learn things that I needed to know before coming in for my classes next week. I was able to meet some of my peers as well,” said Kumar.
“The presentations made by various schools under the CMNHS has made my transition to university life, much easier now,” expressed Salele.
While addressing the newcomers, Vice-Chancellor Professor Wilkinson said the transition from school to university, from living at home to living independently, can be a bit daunting however, he affirmed FNU’s commitment to providing help, advice and reassurance.
“You have worked hard at school to reach this point. I am sure you are excited to be embarking on a new adventure, a new stage in your lives. You may also be feeling a bit nervous. That’s perfectly normal,” stated Professor Wilkinson.
CMNHS Dean Dr William May commended the beginners for defying odds and coming through a tough and unprecedented year of preparation to become a CMNHS student.
“Fiji bored the brunt of Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa and Tropical Cyclone Ana six weeks apart on a backdrop of less than twelve months of the COVID-19 pandemic like most other Pacific Island neighbours. Eleven months ago most of you would have been even anxious about your education trajectory. Hence, today is a day to celebrate our resilience together as Pacific neighbours,” Dr May said.
The students were provided with an overview of FNU as well as the rich history of the College which dates back to the 1800’s.
“CMNHS has a very humble beginning which dates back to 1885 and 1893 when the Fiji School of Medicine and the Fiji School of Nursing were established respectively,” Dr May explained.
“We now have five schools and more than two and a half thousand students on average yearly. Today our alumni are leaders in their own countries in Fiji and the Pacific. Some were Prime Ministers, Ministers of Health, Directors of Health, Medical Superintendents, Public Health, Dentistry, Nursing and Allied Health Leaders,” commented the Dean.
“We continue to engage our overseas partners in the education and training of our people and research to improve our well-being. At CMNHS we strive to assist you to achieve your full potential while here with us. Make the most of your time while here, enjoy this new chapter of your life, work and study hard, make new friends and look after each other,” he said.
“If you are in Suva for the first time and you are feeling lost, do not worry, we all know too well how you are feeling and we will try and assist you in navigating through Fiji’s capital city.”
Brief presentations by the various divisions and support services at the College were also made so students are aware of the services and facilities available to them.
Orientation sessions will be held at all FNU Campuses and Centres throughout the week.