Updated: Aug 24
Maraia Baselala Vula will become the Global Business Journalism program's first student from Fiji when she enrolls in November. But already the acclaimed Fijian journalist has received nationwide acclaim in her home country for winning a scholarship to study in the diverse English language master's degree program at Tsinghua University.
“I look forward to studying this fall and working with the great and talented professors in the future to have an exceptionally rewarding experience," she said.
Vula, who is Managing Editor for business news at the Fiji Sun, was the subject of a news story in the newspaper after she received a Chinese government scholarship to cover the costs of her graduate education. The Sun described Global Business Journalism as a "prestigious master's programme" and called Tsinghua "one of China's most prestigious institutes, and hardest to win admission into."
Global Business Journalism is known for its multicultural character, having hosted students from about 70 nations on six continents during its 14-year history. Vula is one of four children originally from the village of Nukuloa, Gau, in the Fijian Province of Lomaiviti. She was born in Suva, but grew up between the capital city and the western side of Viti Levu.
She received a bachelor's degree in Management and Public Administration and Journalism from the University of the South Pacific in 2013. Since graduation she has worked for Fiji Sun News Ltd., where she has risen from business reporter to managing editor for business news.
“I would like to thank all the Tsinghua University GBJ senior selectors for selecting me for the process of admission and enrollment and offering me this special chance to study further at your prestigious university," she said. “I would like to thank my support system: the Almighty God, family members and close friends."
Vula was attracted to Global Business Journalism by the global reputation of the program and the opportunity to study business and economics in China.
"China’s thriving economy and heavy investment in higher education make it a fantastic place to study a Master of Arts in Global Business Journalism," she wrote in her application. "Studying at a university in China would also present a great opportunity to live and understand what is now the world’s most important economy."
Vula, who has experience in journalism training in Fiji, believes that her experience at Tsinghua will benefit her career and her news organization.
"I would like to think global and also demonstrate integrity, accuracy as well as learn to create top quality coverage of business and finance," she said. "Obtaining a Master of Arts in Global Journalism will enable me with my long-term goals to build the business team and widen the business coverage not only in Fiji but the Pacific region as well."