A scholarship winner dedicated to improving education in her home country of Fiji has arrived in Launceston to start a Masters in Education at UTAS.
The recipient of the first Kate McPherson Scholarship in Education is Mereseini Tikoduadua, a graduate of the University of South Pacific who works as a teacher in Fiji.
Mrs Tikoduadua said since completing her Bachelor of Education she has found a real passion for further study. She said her ultimate goal is to become a researcher in education in the Pacific.
"With my 20 years of teaching I have not come across literature or personal dealings with research work in the teaching and learning in Fiji's classrooms.
"The absence of research carried out on curriculum development in Fiji has multiple effects on education and the consumers," she said.
"I would like to be involved in curriculum development as a tool for teaching and learning in primary school, because I believe that is the crucial stage of learning where the children are just beginning to develop holistically."
Her project will focus on The Library as a tool for enhancing teaching and Learning in a 21st Century: Learning in a Fiji Classroom.
Mrs Tikoduadua is married with four sons.
Dean of the UTAS Faculty of Education, Professor Ian Hay, welcomed Mrs Tikoduadua's arrival.
"We are very pleased to have Mereseini coming into our School to undertake her postgraduate work.
"Building links between Tasmania and Fiji in this way is a great way to exchange ideas and expertise on teaching and learning.
"We look forward to benefiting from Mereseini's many years of teaching and we hope she will enjoy her studies here in Launceston."
Rotary in Fiji and in Hobart have generously contributed to Mrs Tikoduadua's airfares.
About the Kate McPherson Scholarship in Education:
This scholarship is endowed by the estate of the late Dr Kate McPherson who wished to encourage female graduates of the University of the South Pacific to pursue postgraduate studies in Education.
Kate worked at the University of the South Pacific from 2000-2001 and then at UTAS. Her desire to support a female graduate from Fiji stemmed from her love for Fiji and its people, her wish to foster connections between Fiji and her home state. Her wish was for a scholarship in her name to provide such an opportunity for a talented woman from Fiji.
The scholarship provides an annual stipend of ($23,750) for two years and covers the students' course fees and return airfares. For more information about the scholarship, visit the UTAS scholarships page.
Image: Recipient of the first Kate McPherson Scholarship in Education, Mereseini Tikoduadua, outside the Faculty of Education at Newnham.