Fiji National University (FNU) in partnership with Crystal Delta will offer a specialised online course in entrepreneurial skills to boost the capacity of those intending to start small and medium enterprise businesses due to the economic effects of COVID-19.
Acting FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor James Pounder said the programme will up-skill participants with the use of ICT to start a business and will offer a proper guide on preparing business plans which can be used to approach financial institutions for loans.
“We are aware that many people who have been affected by COVID-19 are looking at starting small businesses to earn extra cash and we are working on developing a simple and effective training that will provide people with proper guidance on starting a business and more importantly maintaining it so it can provide Fijians with a reasonable income,” said Professor Pounder.
This course will be divided into two modules.
The first module will train participants on ICT skills required for running a business and the second module will guide participants on preparing a business plan.
Participants can choose to register for two different types of certification. A participation level certification requires the participant to participate in class quizzes etc. but does not require a final project submission for assessment.
An attainment certification will require a participant to submit a business plan which will be assessed. A Certificate in Attainment also carries up to 8 credit points which the student may use to get into a full-time programme. The University is prepared to offer assistance to participants who produce credible business plans, to seek for funding opportunities.
The course has been developed in conjunction with Crystal Delta and will be offered via a new online learning initiative called “FNUOnline”.
The course has been designed according to principles of effective learning, through storytelling, visible learning, discussion, and community support. FNUOnline offers Fijians with a powerful new way to learn online and provides an opportunity for individuals looking to upskill and improve their knowledge base with access to FNU courses through flexible online learning.
“There has been a lot of interest from the public and private sector to offer specialised training to their staff via FNUOnline, and we are very excited to be launching this platform in the next few weeks.
While the platform will have a fee attached to its courses going forward, we felt that as the national University, we need to offer this course free to the public as our way of assisting those affected by the COVID-19 to get back on their feet,” said Professor Pounder.
By partnering with Crystal Delta to develop the FNUOnline digital learning platform, the University will be able to target and enter new markets, bring all university content online to improve accessibility and ensure continuity of learning.
FNUOnline, allows the University to reach new students that are not currently enrolled in the University, provide new online short courses that meet industry needs for professional development, enabling new pathways for learners to upskill, retrain, and transition into new career pathways.
FNUOnline will also allow current FNU students to study part or all of their current degree programme online through blended and/or fully online learning models.
In addition to Crystal Delta, FNU is partnering with DigitalFiji’s to use its Walesi service which will provide an additional platform for advertising and delivering FNUOnline programmes and courses.