Concerns Raised For Pacific Islands Students’ Academic Experiences

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Low achievement linked to ‘mismatched’ value systems in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 5, 2012) – The Association of Pasifika Staff in Tertiary Education (APSTE) wants to institutionalize a Pacific pedagogy in teaching and learning strategies to improve student achievement in New Zealand.

At its annual conference in Dunedin, APSTE is holding discussions about the performance and experiences of Pasifika tertiary students across the country.

A speaker at the conference says that statistics across all levels of education in New Zealand put Pacific students at the bottom level of achievement.

A Senior Lecturer in Education at Wellington’s Victoria University, Cherie Chu, says the tertiary system works in a way that is against Pacific beliefs.

"There’s a mismatch between values, for example in tertiary learning it’s very individualized, competitive. Yet we emphasize a lot of own informal learning at home on collaborative, more togetherness, and less competition, less individualistic."

[PIR editor’s note: Chu also claims that Pasifika students reportedly have the highest student loan repayments and graduate from university settings "with no qualifications."]

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