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519 students graduate with Foundation Certificates from Pacific TAFE

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Graduating students of Pacific TAFE who were awarded with Special Awards and Prizes.

A graduation ceremony was held for The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) students at the Laucala Campus on 15 December, 2017.

Five hundred and nineteen (519) students graduated with their certificates in Foundation programme out of which seventy (70) students were conferred their certificates by Professor Richard Coll, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS).

Of the five hundred and nineteen (519) graduates, two hundred and seventy-nine (279) are females. The graduating students are from USP member countries and also from non-member countries of Australia, Korea and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

A total of one hundred and twenty-four (124) students graduated with a Certificate in Foundation Arts;  thirty-one (31) with a Certificate in Foundation Business;  one hundred and fifty-three (153) with a Certificate in Foundation Science; and two hundred and eleven (211) with a Certificate in Foundation Studies.

While addressing the graduates, Professor Coll congratulated them saying they had done exceptionally well and deserved to celebrate their success.

“Choosing your destination degree or sub degree programme needs to be where your passion lies and where you are self-committed to strive,” he advised.

“The award that you get is a first step towards success and I would like to see many of you succeed as a student and productive citizen of your country,” he said.

“You are now equipped to take on degree programmes at USP where you will have a bigger commitment to excel in higher studies and you have a choice to make,” Professor Coll said.

He encouraged them to acknowledge their parents, families, sponsors and friends who contributed to their success.

Professor Richard Coll, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Deputy VC Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS), confers an award to a graduating student.

With regards to Pacific TAFE’s achievements, Professor Coll welcomed the three (3) new Deans of Pacific TAFE’s Colleges namely Mr Hamish McCracken, Head of the College of Business, Tourism & Hospitality; Ms Liviana Tabalala, Head of the College of Arts & Humanities; and Dr Brad Carte, Head of the College of Science, Technology & Environment.

Professor Coll also mentioned the opening of Pacific TAFE’s FJD1.3million Tourism & Hospitality Centre in Nadi earlier this year by Ms Pauline Tang, Chief Executive Officer of The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE).

“The Centre, which is worth FJD1.3m, will conduct training for Certificates III and IV in Commercial Cookery, Certificate III in Patisserie and Certificate IV in Hospitality Operations offered through Pacific TAFE.

“It is a simulated training centre which has a commercial kitchen, a restaurant and bar, as well as classrooms and staff offices, for the delivery of Hospitality (Events, Food & Beverage, and Front Office), Commercial Cookery & Culinary and Patisserie (Pastry & Bakery) programmes for students in Fiji,” he noted.

“USP as many of you will know prides itself on academic quality and one of the ways it does this is via accreditation, so rather than us aiming for the good we get external parties to assess us.

“This year Pacific TAFE achieved a total of fourteen (14) international accreditations and recognitions and sixteen (16) national accreditations and this demonstrates that we can achieve what we had planned to do,” he noted.

Professor Coll added that Pacific TAFE started a dedicated Learning Support & Work Skills (LSWS) service to provide an enriching learning journey to all students and this will grow from 2018 by having more staff and expansion at regional campuses.

According to Professor Coll, Pacific TAFE’s 2017 enrolment grew by thirteen per cent (13 %) which stands at 48,633 on a like-to-like basis and Pacific TAFE is forecasted to end 2017 with a seventeen per cent (17%) increase.

“Currently, the admission (headcount) stands at 10, 392 students in Pacific TAFE which is a little over one third of the University’s total head count. It is expected to grow in future based on market demand,” he confirmed.

Professor Coll also announced that this is the first year Pacific TAFE started its quarterly newsletter called ‘Pacific Waves’ to keep all stakeholders including staff and students updated.

Some of Pacific TAFE’s major plans for 2018 include expanding sub-degree programmes in the region with particular focus in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands whilst keeping cohort options for other countries; opening of the Pacific TAFE  Centre in Labasa to cater for the demand in the North and the continuation of accreditation and re-accreditation work.

In 2018, the Pacific TAFE Board will also work on the possibility of facility development in Suva and also host the Pacific Culinary & Food Festival coinciding with USP’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

This news item was published on 19 Dec 2017 12:31:55 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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