The Fiji National University’s (FNU) Outreach Team was able to provide first-hand information on its programmes and services in the province of Ra last week.
The team was part of the Ministry for Women, Children & Social Protection’s ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’ (IDEP) event at Nailuva District School. This was coordinated through the Poverty Monitoring Unit and the Rights Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) team.
In her opening remarks, Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection, Honorable Lynda Tabuya said that rural Fijians were often left out in terms of being provided with the opportunities that are commonly accessed in our urban centres. She said Government would continue to invest in rural development and support our vulnerable groups.
During the two-day event, the Outreach Team conducted academic counselling, talanoa and open broadcast sessions to guide individuals in their educational pursuits. Through these sessions, students and parents were provided with essential information regarding courses offered, admission procedures, and financial aid opportunities.
This guidance positively impacted participants like Nawairuku villager Laisani Marama, whose daughter was able to apply for a bachelor’s degree programme at the University. Marama expressed her gratitude for the presence of the Fiji National University at Nailuva District School, as it enabled her daughter’s aspiration to pursue higher education in 2024.
The University’s presence at Nailuva District School also allowed students like Asena Nawaibalavu, a Form 7 student at Ra School, to apply for courses without having to travel to urban centres like Suva.
This convenience reduces the financial burdens associated with travel and accommodation for students from rural areas. Nawaibalavu expressed her joy and appreciation for the services brought to their doorstep, ensuring that distance does not hinder educational opportunities for aspiring young individuals.
The Fiji National University Outreach Team also provided information and applications for Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) programmes.
Erami Masau from Nailuva village, who had completed Year 13 in 2018 and had been staying at home, eagerly applied for a TVET programme upon learning about the opportunities available.
He acknowledged that the event served as a wake-up call to reignite his educational journey. By bringing these opportunities to individuals like Masau, the Fiji National University Outreach Team contributes to the development of rural communities and equips them with valuable skills for the workforce.
“I’ve left school for the past four years and this opportunity was my call to resume studies,” Masau said.
Fiji National University Acting Manager Outreach, Ropate Robi said education was undeniably the key that unlocked social and economic goals.
“By investing in education and ensuring access for all, we lay a solid foundation for a better future – one where individuals can unleash their full potential, contribute meaningfully to society, and create positive change in their communities.”
For further information or queries, students can also Text (Toll-Free) to 857 for Vodafone and Inkk users.
Alternatively, applicants can visit any of the FNU campuses to submit applications.
The Fiji National University also extends an invitation to communities to connect with them for awareness sessions. Through these sessions, the team can provide in-depth information about educational opportunities, scholarships, and the benefits of pursuing trade and higher education at FNU.
To connect with the Outreach Team, community members can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9482372.