UniFiji: VC Appointment

Professor Shaista Shameem

The University of Fiji Council has much pleasure in announcing the appointment of Professor Shaista Shameem as the substantive Vice-Chancellor. This appointment takes effect from 10 December 2021.

With all due processes on board, Professor Shameem was selected by the Joint Committee of the Council and the Senate out of 77 applicants from local and international academia.

Professor Shameem holds double PhD’s and has a wide-ranging experience in a variety of professional engagements in Fiji including that of the Ombudsman and Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission from 2007-09. Prior to being appointed the Ombudsman she has served the Human Rights Commission as its Director.

In the academia, Professor Shameem has served at the University of Waikato (NZ), University of Canterbury (NZ) and in 2009 she was appointed as Associate Professor of Law at The University of Fiji. She gained full professorship at UniFiji and became the dean of the Justice Devendra Pathik School of Law at Samabula Campus. In 2020 Professor Shameem was appointed as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of UniFiji, the position she has held to date. She has continued to hold the position of the Dean of the JDP School of Law and Coordinator of International and Regional Relations and diplomacy Programme. Professor Shameem began her career as journalist/columnist at The Fiji Times and Herold in Suva. She was also the Founder and Principal Attorney of Shameem Law, Fiji.

Professor Shameem is no stranger to the education sector as she was a teacher at Ratu Sukuna Memorial School, Suva for 4 years.

In selecting her as a suitable candidate for the position of the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Fiji, the Council took account of her experience and knowledge of Fijian governance, Fiji’s diverse culture and traditions and the overarching inter connectedness with the academia, internationally and more so with the Pacific Region including Australia and New Zealand.

The choice of the Council to appoint Professor Shameen as the new Vice-Chancellor is testimony to the fact that Fiji has potential for such appointments from within its homegrown academic turf.

With the appointment of Professor Shameem as the Vice-Chancellor, a new dawn is anticipated at The University of Fiji.  With her profound knowledge of local operations and community aspirations and pursuit of globally accepted academic standards UniFiji is poised to gain the rightful recognition it deserves.

The Council warmly congratulates Professor Shameem on her appointment and looks forward to working with her towards achieving globally ready graduates.

Kamlesh Arya