Bodies on quest to better local higher education

Manager permits and visa Yogendra Kunar, from left, Director of Immigration Amelia Komaisavai, FHEC chair Steve Chand and FHEC director Dr Rohit Kishore. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and the Immigration Department want to ensure that expatriates coming to serve in our higher education institutions (HEIs) are upheld to the highest standards.

The two parties agreed to explore and implement independent assessments to verify the qualifications of expatriates recruited as lecturers and professors before a work permit is issued.

“We are mandated to protect the interest of higher education in Fiji, so we want to see the reinforcement of recruiting systems on hand,” said FHEC chair Steve Chand.

Mr Chand also suggested that there be succession plans to re-skill and upgrade the qualifications of those locals understudying expatriates.

FHEC director Dr Rohit Kishore said the FHEC was ready to facilitate related activities further to see robust mechanisms to support higher education in Fiji.

Director of Immigration Amelia Komaisavai supported the FHEC observations noting that the renewal process of these expatriates should also go through the same rigorous process.

She said that knowledge transfer was a compulsory recruitment criterion but had yet to be effectively assessed.

The two parties will have further discussions on the topic with relevant stakeholders.

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