The interest in being part of Fiji’s border protection sector and ensuring the enforcement of laws and regulations regarding the import and export of goods prompted Stefan Bale John Lilo to pursue studies in Customs from the Fiji National University (FNU).

Lilo, 27, is currently enrolled in the Trade Diploma in Customs from FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (CBHTS).Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses such as the Customs programme at FNU provides students with specialised knowledge and skills for employment.

“I chose to study at FNU because they are the only university that offers a broad study of customs and everything that deals with customs such as tariff, Customs law, carriage and bonding, customs trade and finance and dangerous and prohibited goods,” Lilo said.

“I also chose to enrol in this programme because I would like to be part of Fiji’s first line of defence against anything illegal or harmful, especially at our borders.”Lilo, who is from Korovesi in Savusavu, said he would complete his studies next year and commended the supported provided by FNU staff and his family towards his tertiary education.

“The academic and support staff are always ensuring I’m properly registered into the units I should be taking and I enjoy the lectures because, with an interesting course like Customs, you get to learn a lot about what Fiji needs to abide by in terms of importation and exportation,” he said.

“Studying this course has made me understand the laws and regulations in this field and how to apply it in the workforce when we’re part of organisations such as the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS),”Lilo said after completing the last three units, he aims to work for an organisation that deals with Customs work such as FRCS, Fiji Immigration Department, shipping companies or freight forwarders.

“I will be starting attachment soon and this will add to the skills and knowledge I need to help me build my career in this field,”“Anyone can enrol into a TVET programme and learn skills that will add on to the passion they already have for that particular field.”“There is no age limit to studying and so I want to encourage youths and even adults as well to pursue their academic ambitions.”

He added that studying and gaining qualifications enables a person to become independent in life.

FNU is a dual-sector university that provides vocational education and training and higher education programmes in Fiji and the Pacific region. Enrolment for Semester 1, 2021 is now underway.

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