31 Aug 2011

Leading NZ educator says Pasifika students need unified voice

6:54 pm on 31 August 2011

A leading Pacific Island education administrator in New Zealand says the country's Pasifika university students need a strong, unified and organised voice to improve their achievement.

The associate vice-chancellor for Pasifika at Wellington's Victoria University Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says Pasifika people are only one third as likely as other New Zealanders to get a bachelor's degree by the time they're 25.

She told unions representing Pacific Island students from around the country, they should take their inspiration from their ancestors who were expert navigators.

"We've had ancestors who've had the ability to navigate that ocean in not so good weather and bad weather and that's the symbolism around having a sharp focus, being well organised and supporting a strong Pacific voice within universities."

Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says the good news is Pasifika graduates are more likely to progress on to further study at a higher level than other New Zealand students.