The Fiji National University (FNU), in partnership with the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales has produced over 2,500 graduates in various sectors.
This was highlighted by FNU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor and Chief Guest, Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba during FNU’s 25th Anniversary Celebration with TAFE New South Wales, Australia last week.
The celebration, held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, was attended by FNU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nabobo-Baba, Pro-Vice-Chancellor TVET, Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Dr Jimaima Lako, NTPC Acting Director Matereti Naborisi, industry partners and alumni of FNU and TAFE NSW.
TAFE NSW Technology and Business Services Division Director, Justin Thomas, Global Engagement Senior Manager, Yuan Peng, Business and Training Head Teacher, Susan Huntington, and Information Technology Head Teacher, Manindar Singh attended the celebration virtually.
Professor Nabobo-Baba also emphasised the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“Over the course of 25 years, we have provided Level 3, 4, 5 and 6 Certificates and Diplomas in over 10 TVET disciplines, and we have jointly graduated over 2,500 students in these areas in the last 25 years, and an additional 75 graduates will join this statistic at our December 2023 graduation ceremony,” FNU’s Acting-Vice-Chancellor said.
“A key differentiating feature of TAFE New South Wales programmes in Fiji is that it provides those in employment to leverage their work skills and experience as recognition of current competency and to complete work-based assessments that contribute towards their units of study every semester.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor TVET, Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata added that the partnership between the two institutions provides numerous benefits to our industry and students.
“Our industry and students have access to studying for an international qualification from the comfort of their own homes, at a fraction of the cost that they would incur if they had to travel and study abroad,” Dr Tagicakiverata said.
“Both institutions benefit by providing a regional and international study pathway, thereby improving collaboration, intensive benchmarking of TVET standards, and the professional development of our academic staff.”
At the celebration, three staff from FNU and TAFE NSW were honoured with recognition plaques for contributing immensely to the success of the partnership for over two decades. They were NTPC’s Information Technology Head of Training, Praneel Chand, NTPC’s Productivity and Innovation Manager, Amrish Narayan and TAFE NSW Business and Training Head Teacher, Susan Huntington.
TAFE NSW Business and Training Head Teacher and Recognition Plaque recipient, Sue Huntington said the landmark occasion in the TAFE FNU partnership provided an opportunity to reminisce about past achievements, celebrate the progress made over the years, and look to the future relationship.
“I have been involved in this partnership since 2014. It is one of the highlights of my professional life,” Huntington said.
“I have had the privilege of witnessing dedicated teachers who play a crucial role in the lives of their students. I have witnessed committed students who overcome many barriers for the opportunity to receive training in the TAFE courses.”
“I further note the ability of FNU management and teachers to work with the continuous change in requirements in Training Packages and associated TAFE processes, always prioritising the best interests of their students and the Fijian industries that support the students’ study whilst meeting the contractual obligations with TAFE.”