The Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) is on the right track to become one of the finest maritime training institutions in the region with a history-making launch planned for March 9.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, a former Fiji Navy commander will officially open the revitalised 45-year-old training institute at a ceremony planned at the Laucala Bay, Suva facility.

Close to 200 students have enrolled in its courses, with the 2015 candidates poised to find entry into marine engineering, navigation and ship building careers locally and internationally.

The training facility has spearheaded the careers of more than 3,000 students since becoming part of the Fiji National University in 2009. Countless more student numbers are added to this figure with the institution turning out graduates since its establishment in 1970 as part of the Derrick Technical Institute.

However, FMA’s current students have a unique point of difference from their forebears; the assistance of a state-of-the-art $3 million bridge simulator, the most advanced in the Pacific, providing hands-on experience that will equal any training in the world.

FMA chief executive officer, Captain Suren Gurusinghe said next Monday’s launch marks a new era in maritime education in the South Pacific.

“Such an opportunity to place Fiji on the maritime industry’s world map has only been made possible through the Fiji Government and two partnerships, both with a Sri Lankan connection,” Mr Gurusinghe said.

“The first is the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC), an internationally-recognised institution which has poured its expertise into FNU’s programme, greatly improving the quality and standards of our courses,” he said.

“The second is the involvement and guidance of Aitken Spence PLC, a Sri Lankan firm who has recognised the importance of bolstering the growth of Fiji’s maritime industry, particularly through the new generation of seafarers.

“Such support has allowed us to offer an updated curriculum and improve learning resources that are sure to produce competent students who will compete in the global market,” Mr Gurusinghe added.


What: Fijian Maritime Academy official opening

When: Monday, March 9

Time: 10am

Where: Fijian Maritime Academy, Laucala Bay, Suva

Source: Fiji Sun Online