Kitione Niqara 

Siblings of three excited at the prospect of being USP graduates

As the 2024 academic year about to start, 23-year-old Kitione Yalimata Niqara, one of two siblings currently pursuing studies at The University of the South Pacific (USP), is excited to return to school with the prospect of being a role model for his younger sister who will start her tertiary education at the regional university next month.

The third-year civil engineering student from Ovalau, Nassau, Nalawa, in the Province of Ra in Fiji, grew up with his siblings and mom in Vuci, Nausori.

Kitione, who always had a passion for drawing, had set his sights on pursuing civil engineering studies at USP while in high school. Despite having moved four times during high school, he was determined to score well in his final external examinations to guarantee his entry into USP’s civil engineering programme.

“In high school, I always knew I wanted to do engineering. I grew up with my siblings in Vusuya, Nausori. My mom, a registered nurse in Makoi, raised us on her own while our father took care of our farm back in the village in Ra.”

“After primary school, I started my high school journey at Nasinu Secondary School; I later moved to Vunimono High School. I wanted to maintain good grades, and my father thought completing my studies in Ra at the Rakiraki Public High School would be best. I managed to finish well in high school and helped my father in the village,” he shared.

He added that though his parents did not live together, they were both very well involved in his upbringing and that of his siblings.

“They both helped us in every aspect of our lives; there are four of us; I am the second eldest. My older brother is studying land management at USP, my younger sister is now enrolling to study HR this year also at USP, and our youngest sister will be in Year 8 this year,” he shared.

He highlighted that after receiving his Year 13 results three years ago, he only submitted one university application, and that was to USP, as he was confident he’d be accepted into the civil engineering programme.

“My brother was already at USP then, and I always knew that when I finish high school, I must also go to USP. USP has always been my first choice for tertiary education.”

Now heading into his final year at USP, Kitione is helping his younger sister, Vaciseva Natua Niqara, apply for a spot at USP to begin her Human Resources and Management studies.

“I have enjoyed the journey of completing my degree programme. I’ve made many new friends who are my support group because they often challenge my thinking. Through what I’ve learnt at USP and how it fairs with other institutions in the Pacific, I thought of encouraging my younger sister, who starts her tertiary education this year, to join USP.”

“This year, there will be three of us at USP. My brother will graduate this semester, and I am on par to complete my studies at the end of the year, while my sister will begin her journey at USP.”

Kitione’s younger sister, 19-year-old Vaciseva Niqara, says she is thrilled to start her education journey at USP, influenced by her two older brothers, who often shared their USP experiences with her while she was completing her high school studies.

“They have been very influential in my decision to pursue higher education with USP. I know USP is a premier institution in the Pacific, but what pushed me over the fence to join USP is that it is one of only two universities globally to be co-owned or belong to numerous island countries, which is something that not a lot of people get to experience.”

“I know I will have the help of both my brothers to find my way around campus when I start, but they will also be there to help me with my studies.”

Vaciseva, who completed Year 13 at Vunimono High School in Nausori last year, plans to acquire a quality education and give back to her community and country.

The three siblings from the Province of Ra in the West of Viti Levu are ready to take on the 2024 academic year together, hoping to make their parents proud.

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