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Strong bonds forged with Fiji

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia has revealed plans to forge stronger links between the island nation and Bond University by encouraging more Fijian students to consider studying on the Gold Coast.

His Excellency Luke Daunivalu visited the Bond University campus yesterday (15 April, 2019), meeting academics and researchers, touring the campus and giving a lecture spanning climate change, defence, security, trade and investment, and education.

Mr Daunivalu, a Bond Law alumnus, also attended the ceremonial raising of a flag to mark the university’s 30th anniversary.

Speaking after his lecture, Mr Daunivalu revealed his plans to bring more Fijian students to Bond.

“One of the things I’m planning to do after this is to explore with the Fijian Government how we can encourage more students to take up studies at Bond University, in courses that may not necessarily be offered in other universities, or even if they may be offered in other universities, looking for the edge that people would get from coming to Bond University.”

He was hopeful his tour of the university’s campus and his meeting with some of its academics would provide greater clarity around which courses would be most relevant to Fijian students.

From there, he would look at launching a series of discussions going all the way up to the office of Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

“(It would involve) talking with our Ministry of Education, talking with the office of the Prime Minister, and with our tertiary scholarships board to see what avenues we can utilise to send Fijian students to Bond University for courses, or to encourage them to look for Australian scholarships to undertake studies at Bond University.”

Mr Daunivalu said there were many benefits to having students study abroad then potentially return to Fiji, such as the quality of the education they received, the connections they developed, and the extracurricular activities they were able to involve themselves in, which expanded their horizons.

Bond University President and Vice Chancellor Tim Brailsford said it was a pleasure to host Mr Daunivalu at Bond.

“He has achieved great things in his career and his current role is an important one in ensuring a prosperous, politically stable and growth economy within the Pacific region. Our students will surely have learned from his valuable insights and experience which he provided during his visit.

“On a more general level the presence of His Excellency in Queensland, and specifically on the Gold Coast in just his second formal visit to an Australian state, is symbolic.” 

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