The Fiji National University (FNU) extended its boundaries to provide quality tertiary-level programmes in the Pacific region, following the signing a franchise agreement with the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT).

The agreement was signed in Suva today (9th November) by FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey and Acting Principal VIT Jack Takalo Graham. FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey said they were excited with the new partnership as it provided VIT with an opportunity to offer a variety of programmes that were in demand.

Professor Healey said FNU ensures it provides Fiji and the Pacific's Human Resources needs through the delivery of highest quality and standards of teaching and training to all campuses.

"This collaboration is very important for the university as it will concurrently raise the profile of both the partner institutions in terms of enhancing curriculum delivery and offer opportunities for the VIT students to be associated with the national university and gaining FNU's accredited programmes as stipulated in the Franchise Agreement," said Professor Healey.

The Fiji National University offers a wide range of courses and programmes ranging from Certificates, Trade Certificates, Diplomas, Advance Diplomas, Degrees and Postgraduate studies with multiple, flexible, entry and exit points and part-time studies that accommodate life opportunities and career schedules and has more than 300 programmes on offer.

"FNU is extremely thankful for the vision that the Vanuatu Institute of Technology has shown for the initiation of this partnership. I commend the VIT for embarking in this exploration journey with FNU for identifying areas of national interests, developing other programme opportunities and undertaking actual implementation within the agreed framework," VC Healey commented.

Some of the programmes that will be offered under the agreement include Trade Diploma in Hospitality and Hotel Management, Higher Education Diploma in Management, Certificate IV in Banking, Certificate IV in Accounting and Trade Diploma in Accounting. The project is currently in a pilot phase and will be delivered through Distance and Flexible Learning from next year.

FNU staff will travel to Vanuatu to deliver the programme where face to face mode of delivery is required. VIT staff will be invited to Fiji to participate in relevant staff development activities.

Speaking on behalf of the visiting delegation, Vanuatu High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Nikenike Vurobaravu said the agreement signifies Vanuatu's continuing friendship with the Fiji National University.

"Today's signing actually signifies an important milestone for Vanuatu towards education goals and strategies that are part of our National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2020" said HE Vurobaravu. The High Commissioner stated the agreement will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of delivering education and training in the Vanuatu trade sector.

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