Whilst her daughter began Year 1 at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Primary School last week, Irene Lata is counting down the days until she begins her first year degree programme studies at the Fiji National University (FNU).
 
Lata said it was an exciting start to the year as she and her daughter had set academic goals to complete their respective first year of studies successfully.
 
The 26-year-old will pursue her Bachelor of Commerce (Industrial Relations/Human Resources Management and Management) degree at FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (CBHTS) at Nasinu Campus.
 
“I am ready to begin my tertiary studies and I am determined to complete each year of study at FNU successfully,” Lata said.
 
“I’m really grateful for the support from my husband and the rest of my family members.” 
 
After leaving high school in 2009, Lata was unable to secure a scholarship to pursue her tertiary education in a Bachelor of Commerce programme due to the scholarship criteria.
 
Realising that she was unable to finance her tertiary education as a private student, Lata opted to enrol in a certificate course at FNU that would allow her to find employment and save funds for her studies.
 
“In 2010, I enrolled in the Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy course at FNU that was offered by the College of Humanities and Education (CHE). We were based at UniStudio Campus in Raiwai at the time. After successfully completing this course, I worked for a few hair salons in Suva and Nausori,” she added.
Lata, originally from Baulevu in Nausori, currently works as a cashier and sales person at Rups Big Bear in Valelevu.
“Since last year, I started thinking of coming back to FNU to continue my qualification upgrade and my husband has been very supportive of my decision.”
“I then began looking at courses on the FNU programme list and after much thought and advise from my brother-in-law, I chose my BComm combination.”
Lata, the younger of two siblings, said she chose to study at FNU due to its flexibility and provisions for working students.
“I know that FNU has the best interest of all students in mind, even those already in the workforce but wish to upgrade their qualifications. I believe this is why they have evening classes, to cater for students like me,” said Lata.
 
“I am glad all the three course units which I will undertake this semester will be offered after work, which means I do not have to leave my job but concentrate on both my studies and work simultaneously.”
 
She encouraged other working students to join FNU to upgrade their qualifications.
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