FNU academic staff certified in the EQAP course

FNU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Lisa Harrison (fourth from left) and SPC’s Team Leader-Qualifications, Rajendra Prasad (middle), pose with the participants and the FNU staff members at the FNU Campus in Valelevu. Picture: SUPPLIED

Forty-eight staff members from the Fiji National University (FNU) successfully received the Certificate of Completion from a two-day collaborative training facilitated by FNU and the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Educational Quality and Assessment Program (EQAP).

The training focussed on the key features of a micro-qualification and how an application could be compiled such that it meets all the criteria, outcomes and requirements for accreditation. This was done with the intention that future accreditation applications made by FNU will be complete in every aspect and will therefore have a faster progression through the accreditation phase.

The Fiji National University has a large number of short courses delivered through the National Training and Productivity Centre. The packaging, development and accreditation of the short courses as micro-qualifications will provide the opportunity for graduates to progress into undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

SPC’s Team Leader-Qualifications, Rajendra Prasad, said the concept of micro-qualification development and accreditation is an initiative that SPC trialled in 2018.

“The trial included 2 short courses in fisheries and one short course in education. This was very well received by the industry at large, including training providers. Subsequently, the initiative became very popular, and has now become highly sought after by both industry organisations and training providers,” Prasad said.

SPC and FNU have a three-year partnership to enhance collaboration between the two organisations. This collaboration with FNU’s Quality Office is in relation to the accreditation of short courses as micro-qualifications.

“Under this partnership, SPC will be happy to provide other such training in the future. Also, as EQAP enters into its 2023 planning cycle, it will engage with the University to identify other related pieces of work that EQAP can support the University on, so please do let us know of any support that you need from EQAP,” Prasad added.

FNU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Professor Lisa Harrison commended the participants for successfully completing the programme.

“We want to ensure that we enhance the culture of staff training and development, providing opportunities and incentives for both academics to up-skill and gain appropriate qualifications and training,” she said.

“It would help FNU overall in terms of providing quality education to the students so that they benefit and grow in their academic journey.”

National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) Senior IT instructor and participant, Manpreet Singh said the training on the development and accreditation of micro-qualification has provided FNU academics with a valuable opportunity to design and strengthen short courses to ensure they are accredited and benchmarked with the Pacific Qualifications Framework.

“The knowledge and skills attained have been immensely informative, applicable, relevant and indeed a great learning experience, especially for me as we get our NTPC IT short courses recognised, validated and standardised to be offered not just in Fiji but in the regional countries as well,” he said.

“In the digital age, businesses are increasingly relying on information technology employees for different company needs. Without the help of qualified IT specialists, many businesses would have issues with technical, intercompany communication, computer, and network security.

“With the individual enhanced micro-qualification skill sets, the Pacific community becomes more knowledgeable and productive, thus improving livelihood and fostering an interest to progress further into education and the IT field.”

College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) Acting Associate Dean TVET, Vasenai Kereni, said the exercise helped her to understand how to design short course documents.

“This was a very useful exercise for the participants as it gave us clear instructions and would help us design the short courses better and get it accredited,” she said.

TVET studies are deeply ingrained in the foundations of FNU, and student can study through one of 4,600 placements offered by the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS).
Students eligible for TSLS-funded studies must have successfully completed Year 12 or secured a final offer letter for any Certificate Level III, IV or Diploma level 5 programmes offered at FNU.

The Fiji National University is now accepting applications for Semester 1, 2023. For enquiries, students can visit our website at www.fnu.ac.fj  or email the Academic Team via admission@fnu.ac.fj or Text (Toll-Free) 857 for Vodafone and Inkk users.

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