Testimonials – International
Thompson Miabule – Solomon Islands: Aquaculture
In working life Thompson is a Provisional Development Extension officer (for the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resourses) for Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands. His duties include environment observations, sustainable fishing techniques, monitoring resources, monitoring protected areas and conservation. Three years prior to this position he was an observer for the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources collecting data onboard licensed fishing vessels of different nationalities.
Thompson applied to the New Zealand Government for a scholarship for fisheres studies through NZAID, wishing to focus on aquaculture studies. They suggested and orgainsed for him to attend Mahurangi Technical Institute’s Aquatic Studies programme.
To date Thompson has found all the tutors involved with the course to be very good. Dr. Tagried Kurwie’s knowledge and speciality in eel breeding has been an added bonus. The teaching techniques are all different and though lanuguage and understanding is sometimes challenging the tutors are very open and helpful. Thompson feels the course content is very good and interesting, with a lot of biology theory; though he would like more time in the hatchery. Differing opinions and debates between classmates has proved interesting.
Once Thompson has completed his course he will transfer his position from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to the aquaculture division. At the Solomon Islands a sea cucumber hatchery is being built at a sustainable level, funded by the Japanese, with product going to the Asian market. The MTI Aquatic Studies course is very relevant to Thompson’s future career, with modules in hatchery, lab set up and systems being of specific interest.
Thompson will definitely be recommending the course to others. He’s found the support offered by MTI admin staff excellent, with someone always there to help him whenever needed. Coming from a small town himself, he thinks Warkworth is the perfect place to study for Pacific Islanders. There are few distractions which gives a greater ability to learn.
Cristian Vargas – Chile: Aquaculture
Cristian applied to the Chilean government for a BECAS Chile – Technicos para Chile scholarship. The Government were looking for different courses for different professionals off shore to expand their experiences and education. Government officials visited MTI and were impressed with what they saw and they invited MTI to be part of the scholarship round promoting the Institute’s Aquatic Studies programme.
Cristian has found the level of the tutors and teaching very good and the course content very interesting. There is a lot of practical work – with time spent on theory in the classroom then put into practice. Having studied for five years previously, mostly theory, Cristian finds the hands on practical components are excellent.
Once Cristian heads home to Chile after the course, he has plans to work on a salmon farm and perhaps teach some of the things he is now learning to others – combining both practical and theory. Chile focuses on both salmon and mussel farms, but Cristian feels there may be a time for new vision, to come back here and learn about different species, which could well be beneficial to his country.
Cristian advises he would definitely recommend MTI to others. He has enjoyed the opportunity to learn English and learn the technical side as well as the theory. “When we talk about fish we don’t just talk about salmon. We talk about different species and aqauculture which is very different for me. All in all the experience at MTI is very positive”.
Coming from a big town in Chile, the change to a small rural NZ town was a huge change for Cristian. Having a limited transport system has been a challenge, but he says the staff at MTI are very accommodating and especially nice. Cristian is enjoying his time here and focusing on passing his course.