FNU to celebrate education legacy

Founded on the principles of excellence, quality and education opportunity for all Fijians as well as our regional neighbours, 2020 marks a significant year in the Fiji National University’s (FNU) timeline as the tertiary institute celebrates its 10th-anniversary.

A series of events have been planned which will highlight the University’s academic contributions and historical achievements. Although it was formally established in 2010, the institution is proud of its origins dating back to 1885 through its former national institutions.

The University was created by virtue of the FNU Act 2009, which amalgamated six government higher education colleges, each of which had a long and distinguished academic history. These institutions are Fiji School of Medicine (1885), Fiji School of Nursing (1893), Fiji College of Advanced Education (1947), Fiji College of Agriculture (1954), Fiji Institute of Technology (1963), Lautoka Teachers College (LTC) and the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji (1973).

Following the creation of the University, the organisation structure was rationalised into five colleges and one national centre – College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF), College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (CBHTS), College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST), College of Humanities and Education (CHE), College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) and National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).

FNU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Healey said the University has remained true to the academic tradition of vocationalism inherited from its founding colleges.

“All our programmes are co-designed with employers, include a compulsory workplace attachment or internship and are aimed at preparing “day one, work-ready” graduates.”

“At the same time, the University has focused on developing a portfolio of academic qualifications – from Certificate II to doctoral level, which reflects international best practice and gives graduates the transferrable skills they will need to prosper in the era of Industry 4.0.”

According to Professor Healey, in its first 10 years, FNU has made great strides in establishing itself as a leading university.

“Innovations in learning and teaching include much more student-focused learning and problem-based learning, supported by a range of digital technologies.”

“With generous financial support from the Fijian Government, the University has invested heavily in upgrading its facilities and constructing new state-of-the-art buildings,” he said.

To mark the 10th-anniversary of the national university of Fiji, the institution will be opening a new gymnasium complex and a new four-storey business school at the Nasinu Campus and a new three-storey teaching building at the Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA).

In parallel, a major program of renovations is currently underway which will see all the University’s halls of residences and catering facilities receive a facelift.

“FNU is embarking on its second decade with confidence, committed to ensuring a world-class vocational education, which is accessible to all Fijians – regardless of age, location or physical ability, underpinned by socially-impactful research, which addresses the country’s policy priorities,” Professor Healey added.

The 10th-anniversary celebrations will officially be launched on Saturday, 15 February 2020 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva during a ceremony with invited guests.

Students working on a project at Derrick Technical Institute.

Students attending the Anatomy demonstration class at Central Nursing School, Tamavua in 1971. Photo: National Archives of Fiji.