Regional students complete studies at Fiji Maritime Academy

FMA chief executive officer Mahesa Abeynayake (first left) with the Class 3 Engineer Watchkeeper candidates. Picture: SUPPLIED

Regional students from Papua New Guinea had every reason to celebrate as they proudly received their short course certificates from Fiji National University’s (FNU), Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) last Friday.

The Bridge Resource Management (BRM) for Nautical Science and the Engine Room Resource Management (ERM) courses complete all the requirements necessary for the 21 final-stage students to appear for their oral examination from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).

FMA chief executive officer, Mahesa Abeynayake, congratulated the Marine Engineering and Nautical Science students for their perseverance in completing the programme away from their home and families.

The next step for the students is to attain the Certificate of Competency (COC) at Class 3 Watchkeeper level in their respective fields.

“The 10 marine engineering students and 11 nautical science students were sponsored by their respective shipping companies to compete for this stage at FMA and this speaks volumes to the reputation of the Academy,” Abeynayake said.

“Consort Express Lines and Pacific Towing Marine Services Limited – Papua New Guinean businesses – have chosen to send their employees to FMA for upskilling.”

“They chose FMA because of its state-of-the-art facilities and that we offer quality maritime training and education, according to international standards.”

“Enrolments are in process for another eight candidates from the same company in PNG.”

Class 3 Engineer Watchkeeper candidate Francis Ngihal said having an uncle in the maritime engineering field fueled his passion to become a seafarer since childhood.

The 28-year-old said he was proud to be on track to achieving his career goals and was grateful to be one of the students sponsored by his employer, Pacific Towing Marine Services Ltd.

“I was so excited to come to Fiji and study at FMA and having completed this course, I am grateful to the FMA management and lecturers for providing us with the necessary skills we need to return and excel in our field,” he said.

“We have been here for about 13 months and COVID-19 restrictions slightly affected our travels so that was a huge challenge, studying and being away from our home and families.”

“However, our focus on completing this course kept us going.”

Fellow classmate Michael Michael commended his employer, Consort Express Lines, for investing in its workers and allowing them to receive the necessary skills in their field.

Micheal, 35, said leaving his family and homeland to study at FMA was a sacrifice he was willing to make so that he could return to PNG with the necessary skills and qualifications to improve his family’s lives and his chances of becoming a Chief Engineer.

Enrolment for Semester 1, 2021 is currently underway. Interested students can visit our website on or their nearest campus to learn more about the courses available. Prospective students in the Central Division can visit our Pop-up Enrolment Centre at the MHCC complex in Suva for enquires, entry pathways, minimum entry requirements and programme applications.

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