Fiji National University students who graduated with a Bachelors in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry program have raised concerns as their 6 years of studies and hard work is not accredited and recognized in Fiji.
These students have also spent thousands of dollars on the studies.
A student who graduated with a degree in vet science through the Tertiary Scholarship and Loan Scheme says she is in a lot of debt but still does not have a job as a vet.
She says when she raised concerns with FNU, the Fiji Higher Education and the Agriculture Ministry, there were no clear answers to them, and they were told that they need to do a qualifying exam.
However, she says there are no qualifying exams provided in Fiji.
She says since then they are fighting for their degrees to be recognized.
Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Vinesh Kumar says most graduate vets in Fiji are not registered with the Ministry due to gaps in training provided by the Fiji National University.
He says there are challenges such as exposure, facilities and competency when it comes to registering the vets and safeguarding stakeholders and animal welfare.
Kumar says the Ministry is working with the FNU, students and stakeholders to fill these gaps and register these graduate vets through a new process and training.
He says in this process they are also up-skilling their staff who can carry out specific tasks and training livestock officers through their para-vets program in handling animals in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC) and other donors.
We have also sent questions to FNU and the Fiji Higher Education Commission.
They are yet to respond.
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