The School has recently established its Program Advisory Committee (http://www.smpa.fbe.usp.ac.fj/index.php?id=16451). This is one of the strategic moves taken by the School to improve the relevance and quality of our education and training programs in response to the demand of the local, regional and international communities. The Committee represents the key stakeholders, namely, representatives from government departments and local and regional industry and business communities, university administrators and professors, and current students. The Committee is charged with the mission of providing strategic directions and advice on the School’s overall teaching and learning.
The first Programme Advisory Committee meeting for 2014 was held at the Peninsula Hotel in Suva on Wednesday, 30th April, 2014.
Present at the meeting were Professor Fang Zhao, HOS, SMPA and Chair; Dr Manoranjan Mohanty, Associate Dean, FBE (Learning & Teaching); Dr Rafia Naz, Deputy Head, SMPA (Learning & Teaching); Professor Shaun Goldfinch, Professor of Public Policy, SMPA; Mr Simon Clegg, Director, Corporate Services, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva; Mr Neale James Slack, CEO, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Suva; Ms Irene Chandra, representing Mr Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary for Public Service Commission, Suva; Ms Kelera Taloga, Deputy Secretary, Professional for Ministry of Education, Suva; Mr Ram Bajekal, Group CEO, FMF Foods Group of Companies, Suva; Mr Sekove Cavalevu, President, SMPA Student Association, FBE; and Ms Iliana Nasedra, Secretary, SMPA.
Key issues discussed at the meeting included:
· SMPA’s recent proposal on reforming and restructuring its undergraduate and postgraduate courses and programmes;
· The importance of work-integrated learning and teaching, such as internship for our students and enhancing their real-world working experience;
· Shortage of human resource graduates in the workplace;
· Development of community-based research and consultancy; and
· Development of more tangible partnership initiatives and activities.