Pacific education: ‘Under matching’ and lack of Pasifika staff

Tim Fowler speaking at the PTEF held in the University of Auckland Fale Pasifika this week. Those attended made a pledge to continue to improve Pasifika education outcomes. Image: TJ Aumua/PMC

By TJ Aumua in Auckland

During the Pacific Tertiary Education Forum this week it was revealed that despite Pasifika students obtaining NCEA Level 3 they are then going on to do a degree ‘unmatched’ to their subjects studied in high school.

Tim Fowler, the chief-executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, spoke at the forum in Auckland. He referred to the issue as an “under matching” between NCEA attainment and the transition to tertiary.

Because of this many are then entering into a level one tertiary course to gain the required subjects needed in their decided career path.

He said the launch of new TEC education tools would hopefully aid educators in addressing and finding solutions to the issue.

This includes a new online education tool, Qlick, that will be launched by TEC in November. It will allow educators to access live data on Pasifika achievement levels and patterns of study.

Fowler also said in 2017 tertiary providers that offer Level 5 qualifications or higher will be required to inform school leavers with in-depth data about each qualification on their organisation web-pages.

Lack of staff

Those who attended the forum also got a chance to raise their concerns around the lack of Pacific staff in the tertiary sector.

They said although the enrollment of Pacific students are increasing, Pacific staff in the workforce remain low.

“Nothings changed…I strongly plea to you if you can make that a priority in some way to incentivize TEO’s (Tertiary Education Organisations) to committing to raising Pacific work staff.”

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SOURCEPacific Media Centre
TJ Aumua is Pacific Media Watch freedom project contributing editor for the Pacific Media Centre (2016). She is a recent graduate of Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Honours) degree and with a BCS majoring in journalism and a minor in screen writing. TJ is also a contributor for the PMC Online and Asia Pacific Report and has been a recent summer research intern with Pacific Journalism Review.