Local university still taking baby steps

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Dr Jack Maebuta
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BY GEORGINA KEKEA

New Pro Vice-Chancellor
Academic, Dr Jack Maebuta

SOLOMON Islands National University (SINU) is progressing well.

New Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic, Dr Jack Maebuta says the local university has just started and it has not been easy for them. Despite that, he said the local university is progressing well.

In an interview, Maebuta told Island Sun that Solomon Islanders need to have the vision and learn from past mistakes.

Maebuta said the local university has just started and it is still taking baby steps. He said people should not expect to see results overnight.

He said as Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic his role is to work with the Deans from the different schools to identify programs and courses for the students.

“SINU has a huge potential in terms of the needs out there. But we have do things in our own strength. It is the strength of all of us Solomon Islanders. Sometimes things do not work out because we as Solomon Islanders tend not to trust each other. Because we have this perception that in order for something to work out good, it has to come from outside then we will believe that it will work. Little did we realize that we can go forward by recognizing our own strength, appreciate our own strength, and appreciate who we are as Solomon Islanders and what we can do,” Maebuta said.

Maebuta an academic by profession has just joined SINU but not one new to a university’s function. He was a Senior Fellow in Educational Administration at the University of the South Pacific (USP) as well as had years of experience in academic leadership positions.

With his experience in the education sector, Maebuta says Solomon Islanders must try not to compare the local university to other regional universities. He said USP is turning 50 years this year while the local university is still learning along the way.

“We have to take one step at a time.”

He said with the inclusion of courses like post graduate certificate in leadership and management for health care workers in the School of Nursing, these are milestones and achievements for the local university.

“Recognising our own needs, where we as a local university believe in our self that we can do it, we will be able to do it.”

Maebuta continued to say that in order to progress, the university needs a collective effort from everyone. He said Solomon Islanders should appreciate the efforts and the progressive results that the university continue to deliver each time. He said Solomon Islanders should continue to build each other, instead of breaking each other.

He said in the long run, he hoped to see more students attending the local university instead of going to universities overseas for studies.

“This will help Government save money and the money spent for scholarships overseas can be utilised in development projects to help develop our country.”

The Solomon Islands National University was initiated after parliament passed a bill in 2012 for the establishment of a local university for the country. Before that it was known as the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE).

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