There is a growing interest from females to enroll in medical programmes offered by the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS).

 In his presentation at the Heads of Health meeting currently underway in Nadi, the Dean of CMNHS, Dr William May highlighted that 75 percent of students enrolled in undergraduate programmes last year were females.

 According to Dr May, 70 percent females were enrolled in various undergraduate programmes offered by the College in 2014 which then increased by five percent in 2018.

 “Looking at our enrolment by gender in 2014, 58 percent students enrolled in the various Postgraduate programmes were females while only 42 percent were males,” Dr May said.

 The Dean highlighted that the proportion of females enrolled in the Postgraduate programmes has now increased by 10 percent over the last four years.

Dr May stated that the reason why some countries were experiencing increasing demands from female graduates could be related to the health systems they worked in.

 “I think as a training institution—we have strengthened our Postgraduate programmes which better suit females in terms of their professional and personal life.”

Other then up skilling the region’s workforce, CMNHS continues to contribute to development and changes in health policies through research in partnership with regional agencies.

 “Our development and regional partners play a key role in helping the College achieve our strategic priorities.”

 Dr May also said the establishment of the Associate Dean Regional’s (ADR) Office at the College was made possible through the grants from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

 “The position (ADR) is useful to us and you (regional countries) as it forms a strategic connection between academia and our various partners, and the region’s employment sector.”

 “The office also helps promote partnership with other sister academic institutions in the region.”

 The senior academic added they had externally reviewed the College’s Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, Public Health and Health Services Management programmes which was a significant achievement.

 “The College will continue to review our Postgraduate programmes to meet international standards, complete scoping of Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and follow up on outcomes of those visits, and engage with PICs and partners to align programmes developed to meet their needs.”

 The 7th Heads of Health meeting concludes in Nadi this afternoon.

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