Pacific Tertiary Education Forum 2016
The second Pacific Tertiary Education Forum was held on the 6th and 7th of September 2016.
Co-hosted by the Association of Pasifika Staff in Tertiary Education (APSTE) and Ako Aotearoa, this fono was based on a whole-of-sector approach to enhancing success for Pacific learners. This means that Pacific success must be the responsibility of the tertiary education sector as a whole – not just that of Pacific organisations or Pacific staff.
Ako Aotearoa and APSTE would particularly like to thank all those who presented, and especially our opening and keynote speakers:
- Alfred Ngaro MP, Chair of the Social Services Select Committee
- Jenny Salesa MP, Labour Party Spokesperson for Skills and Training
- Dr Karen Poutasi, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
- Tim Fowler, Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission.
- Claire Douglas, Deputy Secretary Graduate Achievement, Vocations and Careers at the Ministry of Education.
Sione Tonga, Print Apprentice of the Year, talks about his learning experiences.
(L-R) Speakers Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu, Core Education; Anneliese Robertson, ACE Aotearoa; and Sam Uta’i, Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Dr Karen Poutasi, Chief Executive of NZQA, provides the fono’s opening keynote address.
Reflections from the Ako Aotearoa Director
As the new Director of Ako Aotearoa it was both a privilege and a great learning opportunity to attend the 2016 fono. While I had a view on some of the issues around Pacific tertiary education from working at AUT for the past nine years, I wasn’t really aware of the wide range of projects and good work happening in other parts of the sector. I learned a lot about the political context from Alfred Ngaro and Jenny Salesa – our opening speakers for days one and two respectively – while our keynote speakers Tim Fowler, Karen Poutasi, and Claire Douglas provided a raft of detail about broader policy and strategic dimensions. A key theme in these talks was how the appropriate use of information technologies and ‘big data’ analytics can help to address some of the challenges facing Pacific educators and students.
A key theme throughout the fono was how our system can close the ‘achievement gap’ between Pacific students and other groups. While it was encouraging to note that participation by Pacific learners is increasing, there is still much work to be done by our education organisations before parity in learner outcomes is achieved. Several presentations, including the three Ako Aotearoa co-funded projects, demonstrated that there is an increasing body of knowledge about effective strategies to enhance Pacific learner success. But this clearly needs to be taken up more widely across the sector and embedded in mainstream practice.
The same is true for the huge under-representation of Pacific staff in tertiary institutions highlighted by several speakers. While this is a complex issue that will take time, resources and incentives to resolve, it seems clear that collaborative solutions need to be developed. To this end, Ako Aotearoa and our Pacific Peoples’ Caucus have established the Pacific Professional Development Fund to offer professional development scholarships to Pacific staff. We have also agreed in principle, with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, to increase our sponsorship for the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth awards through a STEM internship award. We will develop the details with our Pacific Caucus.
My warm thanks to the Ako Aotearoa staff who assisted with the organisation of the fono, and together with our colleagues on the APSTE organising committee made this event a major success. I look forward to an even bigger one next year.
Dr Stanley Frielick
Programme and Presentations
The fono’s programme was based around a series of panels and concurrent sessions that promote discussion and account for the varied voices, perspectives, and situations of Pacific learners across the tertiary education system. A particular feature of this year’s fono was a series of Sector Panels, each of which focused on a particular tertiary sub-sector and both examples of actions being taken by organisations to support Pacific success, and the TEC’s expectations.
Where speakers and panellists used presentations, PDF copies can be downloaded below.
- Digital Assessment, Pasifika and STEM (5.3mb PDF)
Dr Karen Poutasi; Chief Executive, New Zealand Qualifications Authority
- Collaborating Across the Secondary-Tertiary Divide (980kb PDF)
- NEW - Status Update on the Pasifika Education Plan (100kb PDF)
Claire Douglas; Deputy Secretary Graduate Achievement, Vocations and Careers, Ministry of Education
- Going Further Together – How the TEC is working to improve outcomes for Pasifika people (960kb PDF)
Tim Fowler; Chief Executive, Tertiary Education Commission
The links below will take you to the homepage for the workshops below, which are offered as part of Ako Aotearoa’s Professional Development programme.
- The Pasifika Wave: Making a difference for Pasifika adult learners in literacy and numeracy
- Educational practices that benefit Pacific learners
Spotlight on Ako Aotearoa Projects
- Isacc Liava'a, The Skills Organisation and Caroline Harris, Service IQ (1.8mb PDF)
- Sam Uta’i, Ara Institute of Canterbury and Pauline Luafutu-Simpson, University of Canterbury (2.6mb PDF)
- Dr Margaret Southwick, Whitireia New Zealand (580kb PDF)
Secondary and STEM Pathways
- Dennis Matene, University of Auckland (860kb PDF)
- Cassius Kuresa, Careers New Zealand (278kb PDF)
- Dr Marie Inder, University of Otago (1.69mb PDF)
- Dr Debbie Ryan, Pacific Perspectives (530kb PDF)
- Murphy Su’a, Pacific Business Trust (coming soon)
Sector Panel: Universities
- Mark Garisch, Tertiary Education Commission (600kb PDF)
- Dr Tasileta Teevale, University of Otago (1.3mb PDF)
Copies of the University of Otago’s Pacific Strategic Framework 2013-20 can be found here
- Pauline Luafutu-Simpson, University of Canterbury (2.6mb PDF)
Sector Panel: ITPs
- Kim Ulberg, Tertiary Education Commission
- Dr Falaniko Tomaniko, Unitec (3mb PDF)
- Toleafoa Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono, Manukau Institute of Technology (1.1mb PDF)
Sector Panel: Wānanga and the Workplace
- Kim Ulberg, Tertiary Education Commission
- John Whaanga, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (1.3mb PDF)
- Iani Nemani, Competenz (524kb PDF)
Sector Panel: PTEs and Community Education
- Anneliese Robertson, ACE Aotearoa
- Rachel Skudder, BEST Pacific Institute of Education
- Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu, Core Education (1.5mb PDF)
Delegates at the 2016 fono.
Alfred Ngaro MP opens Day One of the fono.
Jenny Salesa MP opens Day Two of the fono.
Tim Fowler, Chief Executive of the TEC, provides the fono’s closing keynote.
John Whaanga, Te Taituarā / Deputy Chief Executive of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, addresses the fono.
Dr Deb Ryan, Director of Pacific Perspectives, speaks on the links between education and health.
Delegates at the launch of the Ako Aotearoa Pacific Professional Development Fund.
Toleafoa Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono, Manukau Institute of Technology,
Delegates attend a taster workshop at the fono.
Delegates listen during one of the fono plenary sessions.