A-G: Certain lecturers don’t want expatriates

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaks to students at Vashist Muni College in Navua during the 2018-2019 National Budget consultation yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaks to students at Vashist Muni College in Navua during the 2018-2019 National Budget consultation yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

EDUCATION Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says a certain group of Fijian lecturers at the Fiji National University (FNU) do not want expatriates teaching at the institution, but rather prefer only locals.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this during the first 2018/2019 Budget consultations for tertiary students at the Fiji National University (FNU) Derrick campus in Samabula on Tuesday.

He raised this after two FNU students studying in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering program had raised the issue about lecturers teaching at the institution.

The students said they were concerned with the quality of their education, particularly with lecturers teaching honours programs with only degree qualifications.

In response, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a need to have the best people to run the school so the level of studies was satisfactory.

“There are people in FNU, who are not expatriates, but the Fijian lecturers who seem to have this view that only Fijians should run the school,” he said.

“I disagree with that, we need to have the right qualified people to run the school,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they had raised the issue with the vice-chancellor of FNU and the university’s administration.

“We cannot compromise the standards just because of a group of people want to maintain some kind of cartel in the university,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum clarified that the hiring of lecturers was usually the prerogative of the universities as the Fiji Higher Education Commission conducted the accreditation of universities and courses.

“The hiring and firing of academics at the universities are done by the university councils. We don’t tell them to hire of fire,” he said.

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