Education

Education minister meets NZ accreditation team to improve quality of engineering programmes

The Honorable Minister for Education, Heritage, and Arts met with the Accreditation Team from the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) yesterday. The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Honorable Minister about their accreditation visit to USP and discuss ways to assist the local universities, particularly, USP and FNU, on improving […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

April 12, 2016 3:00 pm

The Honorable Minister for Education, Heritage, and Arts met with the Accreditation Team from the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) yesterday.

Mr. Pratarp Singh, Mr. Basil Wakelin ( IPENZ), and the Minister for Education Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy. (DEPTFO)
Mr. Pratarp Singh, Mr. Basil Wakelin ( IPENZ), and the Minister for Education Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy. (DEPTFO)

The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Honorable Minister about their accreditation visit to USP and discuss ways to assist the local universities, particularly, USP and FNU, on improving the quality of their Engineering programmes and qualifications.

Mr. Brasil Wakelin from the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand said the team is here for an accreditation visit to USP to look at their two Engineering programmes, with a view to accrediting them under IPENZ.

For Fiji, that’s important because it means that Fijians can travel overseas, to work overseas with much greater ease and come back and set standards in Fiji.

Dr. Reddy advised the team that before they begin the accreditation process, they need to consider certain important aspects, for example, how the individual units are pitched at a particular level, are the workshops supporting that to deliver the relevant learning outcomes and if there are experts to teach these programmes.

I hope that you will put that level of scrutiny and fix the gaps for every process.

Mr. Basil Wakelin agreed with the areas of attention highlighted by Dr. Reddy and added that the level of the programme is the first thing that they will look at.

Dr. Reddy further suggested that in a small country like Fiji, we can have joint programmes for USP and FNU.

Since the Engineering programmes require a heavy capital investment, there can be sharing of units, instead of both universities having their own programme structure.

Dr. Reddy highlighted that Fiji have a lot of interest and we want to make the programmes at our tertiary institutions better and bring it to regional and international standards.

According to Mr. Pratarp Singh, the President of the South Pacific Engineers Association, New Zealand has a very strong Professional Engineers Institute, so he is trying to work with the FHEC as well, to improve the programmes in Fiji.

The IPENZ team commented that the idea of Technical College programmes is very interesting and encouraging.

The Minister acknowledged their effort for coming over to assist our universities with this accreditation process which will allow the Fijian Government and the New Zealand Government to work together in improving the quality of education in Fiji

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