21 Jun 2012

Tonga aims to attract academics back with expanded USP campus

7:23 pm on 21 June 2012

The head of the University of the South Pacific in Tonga says she hopes Tongan academics will return home to serve their people as the campus expands.

Dr Ana Koloto says there are qualified Tongans, living in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, who could be offered contracts to teach various programmes at the university.

The Tongan government has just leased an extra 6 hectares of land to the USP to expand its Regional Institute of Education and build new science and computer laboratories catering for a surge in student numbers.

Dr Koloto says she's aiming to help students and their families keep costs down and achieve their education goals in Tonga rather than go overseas to study.

She says she hopes to attract some of those who left to study, back home to teach.

"People are quite mobile in terms of serving the region in terms of the regional campuses. But we're also aiming to target Tongans who have studied overseas, wanting to take three years or two years or even one year back here at home."

Dr Ana Koloto.