FNU’s first local PhD student set to graduate this month

Press Release Posted On: April 5, 2024

On Tuesday, 16, 2024, history will be created when the Fiji National University (FNU) confers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to its first ever local student.

The soon-to-be ‘Dr Jasmine Hussain’ could not contain her joy and stands as a beacon of inspiration for all Fijians following the completion of her academic journey in earning herself a PhD degree.

She is currently serving as a Lecturer in Social Education at the FNU’s College of Humanities and Education (CHE), based at the Natabua Campus in Lautoka.

Hussain traces her roots back to Valebasoga, Labasa, where her grandfather, who was an indentured immigrant, settled.

Growing up, she spent her formative years in the Hidden Paradise of Fiji, Savusavu, completing her secondary level education at All Saints Secondary School and Labasa College.

She is passionate about social science and citizenship education, including gender and women’s studies, identity, social and cultural change, freedom, educational leadership, and social policy.

“I graduated as a primary school teacher and taught in Rakiraki, Ba, and briefly at Lautoka before pursuing an academic career at the Fiji National University,” she said.

“Before joining FNU, I attained a Master of Arts Degree from the University of the South Pacific under the prestigious AusAid Scholarship.”

Hussain highlighted that with her attainment, education meant importance as it raised aspirations and the potential to achieve them, but most significantly, it expanded one’s freedom by enabling opportunities for transcending a situation through economic empowerment.

“Attaining a PhD is no easy feat, especially if you are a woman. Embrace intellectual independence and solitary work; engage critically with loads of academic reading in addition to perseverance as you wade through the numerous challenges that life throws at you. Most important of all, trust in yourself and, to borrow from my Principal Supervisor, stay the cause!” she advised students and women intending to pursue a PhD.

Hussain is especially grateful to her Principal supervisor, Professor Nii-K Plange, and her supervisory team, which includes Professor Unaisi Nabobo Baba and Dr Asinate Mausio.