17 Nov 2021

New Vice Chancellor for AUT encourages young Pasifika to pursue education

10:24 pm on 17 November 2021

The new Vice Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology is calling on young Pasifika peoples pursuing their education to stay the course.

Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa, who is currently a Pro-Chancellor at the University of Auckland takes up his new role at AUT in March next year.

He is the first person of Pacific descent to head a university in New Zealand.

Associate Professor Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa

Associate Professor Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa Photo: The University of Auckland

Toeolesulusulu said the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic have been the most difficult for education in a long time.

He said part of the reason he chose to take up the new role is that AUT's provides a pathway to education for people of all ages, backgrounds and races, regardless of the life stage or academic credentials.

"The pressures of the pandemic have forced many young people to have to choose between furthering their education or providing for their families, and institutions like AUT can help.

"Now is a great time to just leave school and get a job. But in terms of the future that students' families need, that our city and our communities need, education still remains the single most powerful way to transform the lives of you and your family and through them our communities," Salesa said.