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Graduates acknowledge family support

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Graduate, Buriata Eti Tofiga, with her family members.

Graduation is the culmination of hard work and sacrifice in any student’s life, a moment looked forward to by families and friends of graduates.

Buriata Eti Tofiga from Kiribati, graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Management and Public Administration during The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) graduation at the Vodafone Arena on 22 September, 2017.

Ms Tofiga said while she is excited about her achievement, she felt there is still a lot that needs to be done as ongoing research is always critical.

“I am currently assisting with USP’s School of Management and Public Administration, but I must say it has been a journey filled with sacrifice, commitment and sheer hard work,” she said.

“It has not been easy and I wish to thank my sponsors, USP’s Research office not only for funding my studies, but for providing resources to carry out research, including attending international conferences to present and get feedback on our research, and at the same time building our confidence.

According to Ms Tofiga, collecting data is not an easy feat, especially the writing part.

“But with the support and the right attitude, it can be always done,” she stated. 

Her area of research relates to studying organisations, namely social enterprises, its diverse forms and how they operate in Fiji and Kiribati

Ms Tofiga, who is married to an I-taukei said she would not have done it without the support of her loving husband, father, siblings and family members who have always stood by her.

Muni Avitesh Chetty of Kavanagasau of Sigatoka, a graduate with the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment was also all smiles at the Vodafone Arena. 

Mr Chetty, who comes from a farming background, graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronics).

Graduate, Muni Avitesh Chetty with his family.

“My father is a vegetable farmer who does subsistence and commercial farming and mum is a clerk. I am proud to be the first in my family to graduate and they are all here with me today to witness this,” he said excitedly.

Mr Chetty, the elder of two children and a perfect role model for his younger brother in Sigatoka understands that this is only the beginning of good things to come.

“My dad has been so excited as he is the eldest of four siblings and I am glad I have made my parents and family proud by graduating today,” says the former Natabua High School student.

Describing his early years at University, he said the first year away from home was difficult but he persevered.

“I guess the fact that I used to board at secondary school helped me get through my first year here at University,” he said.

He added that he knew he was at USP for a reason and he set his mind to achieve what he started out to do.

“Also, what helped the most was that there was always group work for projects so it was easy to interact and not get lonely,” he said.

“Today, I want to thank my family for their support especially my hard-working parents for always being there for me, I would not be graduating today if it was not for them,” he noted.

Asked about his advice to potential students and graduands, he said it is important to set goals earlier in life and focus on achieving them one at a time.

“Education is the key to success and particularly having a qualification that can be recognised worldwide just adds icing to the cake,” he added.

This news item was published on 22 Sep 2017 02:28:42 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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