Pacific Peoples in Tertiary Education in Aotearoa New Zealand
Keywords:Pacific Education, Māori Values
Even though Pacific peoples in tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand strive to achieve milestones which bring honour and prestige to their families and communities in New Zealand and the Pacific, socio-economic factors still hinder many from achieving their set goals. This article begins by relating the author’s own narrative as a Sāmoan living in the Pacific diaspora and working in tertiary education in Auckland. It then outlines the diverse aspirations of Pacific peoples living in New Zealand, with a focus on the educational hopes of recent migrants as well as New Zealand-born members of Pacific communities. These aspirations are presented with reference to the existing literature on Pacific success within tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand. We discuss how education providers support Pacific students, and the ways in which institutions are working to improve Pacific educational outcomes. It is argued that even if the New Zealand Tertiary Education Strategy (TES), the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020- 2030 (APPE), and Unitec's Pacific Success Strategy 2019- 2022 are aligned in their goals, more effort is needed to ensure that these initiatives are implemented effectively through multi-disciplinary and value-based approaches. This article adds value by providing an insider’s perspective of migration and a first-hand account of the challenges facing students in higher education in Aotearoa New Zealand. Moreover, the analysis contributes to the repertoire of academic studies and publications that help to understand and improve the Pacific experience in tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand.
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