Lectures at the new University of Fiji will begin this morning despite objections from the government.
The Ministry of Education says it has no power to recognise the university and regards the institution as illegal.
A senior ministry official, Ram Chandra, is quoted as saying the Education Act does not give the minister powers to accredit recognition to a university which can only be done by an Act of Parliament as in the case of the USP.
Mr Chandar also says they should not call the institution The University of Fiji because the government has not recognised it.
But the chief executive of the new university, Dr Ganesh Chand, says there is nothing in the Education Act or any other law which prohibits the establishment of a university or which requires the ministry to accredit its courses and programmes.
Dr Chand says the University of Fiji is registered under the Companies Act because no law caters for it and has its own charter.
Lectures will begin in Lautoka this morning with the first 150 students