Graduates from the Fiji National University (FNU) have been challenged to make their mark as they enter the workforce through dedication, hard work and excellence.
Speaking at the final round of December graduations in Labasa this morning, Chief Guest for the event, Commissioner Northern Joseva Vocea told the new graduates to capitalise on the knowledge and skills they have attained after completing their studies.
Vocea encouraged the newest FNU alumni to set high standards and meet customer satisfaction.
“Create new images or brand yourself so that you will remain competitive and also contribute towards the marketing of the Fijian brand to the world market,” said Vocea.
“Getting a good education is not just about getting a degree. It is all about having an informed mind about reading, researching and learning the ways of others. You can choose to be a doctor, teacher or a nurse, but whatever you choose to do strive to be the best in that field,” he continued.
FNU Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Mohini Singh while congratulating graduates from various Colleges said graduations is a time for celebration and also marks a significant step in the education and career progression.
“Today is the culmination of several years of your hard work and effort, which is being recognised by the award of your certificates, diplomas and degrees, an achievement in which you are entitled to take great pride,” said Professor Singh.
The senior academic said there was an increase in enrolment numbers in Labasa to over 1000 this year compared to 2017.
“The University is working closely with the Labasa industry advisory committee to offer programmes that are aligned with the needs of employers in the region. With the upgrade in our digital infrastructure, we will be able to offer a wide range of programmes at our Northern campus through blending learning as well,” highlighted Professor Singh.
Professor Singh also informed the Northern community about the exciting phase of development for FNU Labasa Campus which is currently under construction.
“One of the most significant capital projects of the University is the construction of the Labasa campus. It is a government funded project, as part of its “Look North” policy to revitalise the economy of Vanua Levu,” she said.
The estimated 27-million dollar campus is expected to be ready and operational by first semester of 2020.
“By improving access to tertiary education in Vanua Levu, the new campus should certainly encourage more students to stay in the Northern division to attain tertiary education. Phase one will include modern lecture theatres, tutorial and teaching rooms, staff and administration offices, computer labs, library and cafeteria,” added Professor Singh.
Commissioner Northern, Vocea also commended FNU’s commitment saying the new development at the Labasa Campus will mean students will no longer have to leave their families behind and move to the other part of the country to get a qualification.
“This also means easing the burden of expenditure such as housing rental, meal allowances and so forth. And most importantly it will create job opportunities in the Northern Division as a whole,” he said.
Shamal Ram, who graduated with Certificate IV in Automotive Engineering (Light Motor Vehicle), admitted that as a working student, it was challenging to balance his professional and education life. Ram said hard work and commitment carried him through.
“There were lots of assignments and projects to be done, I am glad I was able to successfully complete it,” he said.
Ram who works as a Technical Advisor at Nivis Motors said he hopes to further his education with FNU in the near future.
Another graduate Seini Raitabe who attained Bachelor of Nursing said she owes gratitude to her family and to her lecturers.
“At FNU, we have been truly lucky to have interactive academic staff, who have not only filled our minds with knowledge, but ignited a love of learning and a passion for our discipline that will endure long after graduation,” she said.
FNU hosted a series of graduation this month with over one thousand eight hundred students graduating with Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees.