Respected academic Professor Toby Wilkinson has been appointed as Fiji National University’s (FNU) Vice-Chancellor, following an extensive international recruitment process.
Acting Chancellor and Chair of the FNU Council Ms Tessa Price said Professor Wilkinson’s appointment fits well with the university’s strategic goal of being a premier, world-class tertiary education institution that educates students to succeed in the labour market and contribute to the economic and social development of the nation.
“The Council is happy to announce the appointment of Professor Wilkinson as the new Vice-Chancellor. We are expecting Professor Wilkinson to take up the role in the new year,” said Ms Price.
“Professor Wilkinson is an accomplished academic who has held several key positions at renowned universities, and his extensive international career will strengthen FNU’s management team and steer the institution towards realising our overall objective.”
FNU is a ‘dual sector’ university, offering technical and vocational education and training (TVET) from levels 1-6 and higher education from levels 5-10 (up to doctoral degrees). The programmes are designed in collaboration with the region’s employers and benchmarked on international best practice through partnerships with universities and professional bodies in Australia and New Zealand.
“Professor Wilkinson joins FNU at a crucial time when universities around the world are reviewing their processes, programme delivery, relooking and rethinking ways of ensuring their products and services are accessible and relevant to the new employment demands of the future.”
“We have undertaken a major upgrade of our digital infrastructure, which enabled us to make a speedy transition to fully online learning. We offer blended learning which is a mix of the best of online and face-to-face teaching. At the same time, we are undertaking the development of physical infrastructure which strengthens our teaching and research. These are all important developments to prepare our graduates for the changes in the labour market that will be driven by “Industrial Revolution 4.0” in the future,” said Ms Price.
“In balancing our dual sector role, the University has also set in motion several exciting plans to uplift our TVET programmes and structure as we step into our second decade. Professor Wilkinson comes with the exact experience and energy needed to steer this young institution forward to meet its ambitious targets.”
Professor Toby Wilkinson joins FNU from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, recently crowned ‘Modern University of the Year’, where he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the College of Science, the College of Business, portfolio development, civic engagement, and external relations, including a wide range of local, regional, national and international partnerships.
“It is a great honour and privilege to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of FNU as the university marks its tenth anniversary and positions itself for ever-greater success. I look forward to working with the whole FNU community, and stakeholders throughout Fiji and the wider region, to help FNU become the premier dual-sector university in the South Pacific – realizing the aspirations of students, supporting the development of the nation, and contributing solutions to global challenges. On a personal level, I am delighted to be returning to Fiji, which I first visited in 2009, and to the South Pacific, a region that holds a special place in my affections,” said Professor Wilkinson.
Professor Wilkinson holds a First Class Honours Degree and a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Cambridge. He is an internationally acclaimed Egyptologist and the prize-winning author of twelve books which have been translated into twelve languages.
Prior to joining the University of Lincoln, Prof Wilkinson served for six years as the inaugural Director of International Strategy at the University of Cambridge where his work included devising and delivering an institution-wide strategy for global engagement, working closely with partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Prof Wilkinson in his earlier appointments focussed on external relations, schools liaison and widening participation, fundraising and alumni relations, and institutional strategy. In his academic career, Prof Wilkinson has held research and teaching positions at the universities of Cambridge and Durham.
He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society and a member of the international editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History.