Dr Rajni Chand appointment based on merit: USP

University of South Pacific Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jito Vanualailai insists Dr Rajni Chand’s appointment as the university’s Centre of Flexible Learning director was based on merit.

This comes in the wake of comments Professor Jito reportedly made to a local media organisation regarding Dr Rajni’s appointment which the university claims was misconstrued.

 In a statement today, the university stated that Dr Rajni’s appointment, as with all recruitments at USP, is done on merit in compliance with policies and procedures and not because Fiji Immigration prohibits foreigners from working at the university.

The university also reproduced comments Professor Jito had made and provided statements in a bid to explain its position.

“Because it is just an Academic position and we normally just look at the internal expertise that we have. If we can get our own people why should we have to go and get overseas people? In any case, the Fiji Immigration will not allow it. If we don’t have people inside then, of course, we have to go outside, but in this case, we have more than enough expertise.”

“To clarify further, Professor Vanualailai’s statement means if there are experts (within USP) who meet the job requirements in terms of skills and qualification, there is no need to look outside (USP) and recruitment can proceed internally.  The position was advertised internally.”

USP Statement – Media Release 18 February 2021

In cases where there is a need to recruit from outside Fiji, including advertising regionally or internationally, the university said it would need to justify its plans to the Fiji Immigration and explain why the position cannot be filled by a Fiji citizen. 

The Fiji Immigration are the approving authority for work permits, the university said.

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