The Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) was abuzz today as excited new students attended the orientation session and toured Derrick Campus in Samabula, Suva.
Welcoming the freshers to the University family, FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey reaffirmed students of ongoing guidance and support from the University team to guide students in achieving academic excellence.
“Our support services, as well as academic staff, are here to assist you to successfully complete the journey that you have embarked on,” he said.
Professor Healey advised students that they are entering the University at a very interesting time, as the latest UNESCO data indicate that 38 per cent of 18-year-olds now attend university globally.
“Across the planet, two out of every five 18-year-olds now to go tertiary education, whereas in the 1980s it was less than one in eight. So there has been a huge increase in the scale of university enrolments and there are two reasons for this huge increase.”
VC Healey said one of the reasons for this was that over the last 40 years the world has undergone a period of very rapid economic development and rising living standards.
“It is because economic development has excelled in things driven by technological demands, which has, in turn, changed the way the societies and economies work.”
“There is increasingly less and less demand for the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs that used to constitute the bulk of employment opportunities and these trends are affecting every aspect of our lives. All the professions and jobs are being reshaped by technology.”
Professor Healey advised the students that: “for the young people to find decent work in the new world of Industry 4.0, you need to be highly educated and able to master the new technologies as they develop.”
Meanwhile, Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics (Honours) student, Lucy Tifera said she is looking forward to this phase of her life.
“I believe this is the time where I will come across many difficult situations and choices and how I tackle these will determine my future,” said Tifera.
“I would say we were in a comfort zone in secondary school where things happened according to strict timetables and we sort of got used to it but now the environment is going to be different. Therefore, I firmly believe that our success is in our hands.”
The 18-year-old added she was eagerly waiting for the classes to commence.
Orientation sessions will be held at all FNU Campuses and Centres throughout the week.
FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey and Acting Dean CEST Salabogi Mavoa with students at CEST