IT was an emotional day for National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad yesterday, as he said goodbye to the University of the South Pacific, the educational institute to which he had dedicated 28 years of his life.
And while it was a sad occasion, he said the university had prepared him for the political arena which he was now a part of.
"The farewell by my colleagues was great, it was a very moving experience," Prof Biman told this newspaper yesterday.
"USP has been a very good institution for me, that's where I grew up, I studied for my undergraduate there and then after my Australian studies, I came back and worked here.
"I think the institution has given me a lot in terms of experience, in terms of my understanding of the region, the world and as an academic, I had a lot to contribute to the region and to Fiji."
He said his only regret upon leaving the institute to join politics was that he would miss his students.
"I'll miss my great students whom I always love to teach and interact with, so it's a bit sad but this is a great country of ours and so we want to make it a very good country to live in.
"I think the country's at a critical juncture and I think that if, as a leader, I can contribute to the overall development of the country, then this was probably the time.
"So, while I'm sad leaving the university, I'm quite excited about the big prospects ahead of me and for Fiji indeed."