Nishaat Sadiyah Ali, who graduated with a Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) (First Class) with a Gold Medal says programs such as this will help in having more local urban planners and designers in the country as the current developments are mostly done by professionals from abroad.
She says she was always into designing and creating things from primary school which motivated her to be an architect, but when she graduated from high school, no local scholarships were offered for architecture, thus, she opted to do urban and regional planning at the Fiji National University under the National Toppers Scholarship Scheme.
Ali is the first-ever gold medalist for the Urban and Regional Planning Program and says she didn't have any idea of winning a gold medal in this program as it is very rare and usually won by engineering students.
The 23-year-old says she got very excited and emotional when she saw her name under the gold medal winner list during the graduation ceremonial, and started looking for her parents in the audience.
Ali further says the urban and rural planning program has given her a lot of exposure and experience in the development industry and she has accomplished various academic projects such as writing a dissertation on train development in Fiji and redesigning various land uses and zones.
She also says she was the first ever student rep panelist for the Pro Vice Chancellor interview and led the team to be awarded the FNU Student Green Fund project in the development of a greenhouse for a youth community situated off Gaji Rd, Suva.
Ali now aims to continue her studies by undertaking master’s research in Urban Designing.
She says she is genuinely thankful to her parents, Fiance, and Lecturers for motivating her to undertake such a demanding and intriguing program and for their continuous support and words of encouragement.
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