Civil Servant Pursues Masters Dream


LAISA Matagi’s previous visit to Japan inspired her to return to Fiji and apply for the Pacific- Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State scholarship. 

This year, the 28-year old’s dream came true after she was successfully selected to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

Ms Matagi, who is originally from Rukua Village on Beqa island, is part of the third batch of Pacific-LEADS recipients.

She is joining a total of 20 successful recipients from other regional countries such as Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

In the previous year, a total of 16 recipients from Fiji had been accepted into the programme, but this year only two will be getting the opportunity.

“So they really cut down the list this year and I feel blessed being given this opportunity,” Ms Matagi said.
She added that her research mainly focused on policy research for waste infrastructure.

“So I’m looking into the set-up of the system and how I can better improve the policies that are currently in place in.”

The send-off ceremony for Pacific LEADS Programme participants was held recently at the Japan International Cooperation Agency office in Suva.

Japan’s Ambassador to Fiji, Masahiro Omura, said the programme was one of the commitments made by the leaders at the 7th Pacific Islands Meeting (PALM7).

This commitment, Mr Omura said, was to provide an opportunity for young government officials in the region to pursue postgraduate studies in Japan, undergo job training at central government agencies and local governments.

Furthermore, the Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar said they were honoured for the tremendous assistance.

“This will greatly boost the capacity building not only for Fiji but other Pacific nations as well.”

Ms Matagi, a technical officer at the Ministry of Waterways and Environment, and the second recipient Adi Arieta Latianara from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, departed Fiji’s shores in mid-August to undertake their two-year Master’s programme.