AUSTRALIANS WANT TO SET UP FIJI LAW SCHOOL

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By Earnest Heatley

SUVA, Fiji (June 7, 1998 - Sunday Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Central Queensland University is interested in setting up its own law course in Fiji.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Locklane Chipman says the institution's dean of business and law studies, Kevin Fagg, is due in the country soon for discussions with the Fiji Government on a possible option for Fiji nationals studying in Vanuatu.

This follows reports that Fiji students at the University of the South Pacific's Emalus campus suffered abuse from locals there.

"I haven't yet received a formal request from the Fiji Government," Professor Chipman said from Rockhampton this week.

He said at this stage he was not sure whether it was on the way.

However, Professor Chipman said: "We are very interested, no doubt."

Circumstances permitting, this might offer a chance to expand the CQU's legal studies.

"We are currently not offering a full law degree but it is a very high priority in our on-going development," Prof. Chipman said.

If the university and Government come to an agreement, Prof. Chipman said the campus at Vatuwaqa might begin with a minimum viable number of 40 students.

Gradually, as the course comes to its fourth and final year, there will be at least 160 students pursuing law degrees.

The option for students goes against the concept behind CQU's initiative in Fiji, which was mainly to attract privately funded students from Asia and the region to study in Fiji.

"It depends on where the funding for these students would come from," Prof. Chipman said.

This is something the university is hoping to discuss further with the Government.

The CQU plans to turn the former Telecom Training Centre at Vatuwaqa into a state-of-the-art extension campus , initially offering bachelor's and master's degrees in business law, information and communication.

Title -- 1439 EDUCATION: Australians want to set up law school Date -- 7 June 1998 Byline -- Earnest Heatley Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Sunday Times (Fiji), 7/6/98 Copyright -- Sunday Times Status -- Unabridged

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