Graduate eyes PhD

AFTER failing to meet the criteria to become a doctor, Pakistani-born Gul Fatima aspired to join the legal field.

Last week, she moved a step closer to achieving her dream after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Fiji.

Fatima also walked away with the award for most outstanding student of the university’s School of Law. But she isn’t stopping there, she is aiming for a PhD in the years to come

“I was quite young when I came here (to Fiji), I was in primary school and my dad was transferred to Fiji, he went to Suncourt afterwards and he is with New World now,” she says.

“I started my LLB at University of the South Pacific (USP) but I took some time off and went overseas and when I came back, I wanted a change of lifestyle and a more hands-on approach when it comes to education.

“The difference with USP is that it’s very big and you don’t get that student and lecturer one on one time often as a student wants and in this, this university, it’s different,” she said.

Fatima says she saved money by working to pay for her own units.

“I wrote to the vice-chancellor last year to ask if I could undertake six units and that’s something that was never done because you’re only allowed to take two units if you’re working.

“I am working at R Patel, I was with AP Legal previously and my former boss initiated my enrolment in this university, so I’ve always had that support and encouragement from my office.”

She says she was then allowed to take six units and her bosses, including Ramesh Patel, were very accommodating.

This also allowed her to work towards the top student award.

“I did have some indication (about the award) and for me it wasn’t a surprise because I had worked hard for this, I wanted it.

“My mother unfortunately didn’t live to see this. She passed away when I was in my second year so this is dedicated to her.”

According to Fatima, she now plans to pursue her masters and PhD.

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