TSLS engages international expert to develop Human Capital Development Plan

August 17, 2022

The Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Service (TSLS) has engaged the services of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to develop a 10-year Human Capital Development Plan (HCDP). The QUT has approved Professor Hitendra Pillay as the international expert to develop the plan in line with the terms of reference. Professor Pillay has done seven illustrative publications on Human Capital Development.

As announced in the revised 2021/2022 national budget, TSLS will engage an expert with international exposure and experience to review priority areas for scholarships and study loans. The outcome will be mid to long term Fiji’s Human Capital Development Plan. This will also ensure reviewing the budgetary allocations with prudence to ensure that adequate level of funding is available for skill set in demand for employment and to expand the vision of the Government on knowledge economy.

The current list of priority areas was established in 2014 and has only gone through cosmetic changes annually. It is crucial that a thorough review be conducted to ensure that adequate funding is allocated to create a knowledge-based society and to create a more skilled and adaptable workforce.

Hitendra Pillay is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology.  He has multi-disciplinary background ranging from education to engineering to cognitive science – resulting in a diverse academic research portfolio. He has won many research grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Taiwan National Science Council, Australian Development Research Award Scheme, and published over 130 academic papers and over 100 technical reports for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Australian Aid, and the European Union. Professor Pillay has successfully worked in 35 countries (OECD and developing countries) as either education sector expert or university academic. His understanding of knowledge systems and human cognition privileges him to be innovative and develop complex schemas for cross discipline knowledge creation and associated applications. Drawing on his multi-disciplinary academic research and social sector development work his current research interest is synthesizing the fragmented research agendas into more holistic and cross disciplinary models of knowledge creation, innovation, and global development.

Professor Pillay has extensive experience in the areas of academia having previously worked on regional and international levels. He has worked as the Lead Specialist on “TVET in Fiji: Better alignment between skills development and labor market demand.”

Further research portfolio and experience include – Design Team Leader “E-learning for Secondary Science Education in the Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Government of New Zealand”, Education and Policy and Planning expert “Asian Development Bank Support analytical work on global trends and innovation in post-secondary education for preparation of knowledge products, evidence based policy dialogue in selected CWA countries and contribute as a speaker in the post-secondary education forum”, Team Leader – Partnership for Innovation in Education in Asia and the Pacific, Asia Development Bank Technical assistance”, Lead Researcher – Current Status of Vocational Education in India.”

While engaged as the expert, Professor Pillay will closely work with TSLS and the Oversight Committee in the development of Human Capital Development Plan which will require a proposed plan with development methodology for reviewing the Human Capital needs of Fiji. The scope of work involves thorough consultation with tertiary education stakeholders, organizing and receiving public submissions and identifying emerging areas in the labour market. The expert will identify gaps in government priority areas and suggest ways in addressing the gaps based on discussions with relevant stakeholders.

Professor Pillay is originally from Nadi.


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