Faculty for Academic Studentship: Business
Role: Pastoral support
Ethnic Origin: Tongan
Taking on a role in the Pasifika Academic Studentship Programme meant Holeva Tupou has the chance to share her experiences of tertiary education with undergraduate students, and encourage them to complete their studies. “Education, for me, means success. Especially for Pacific Island students, so I really try to share my experiences”, says Tupou.
Working within the Faculty of Business, Tupou says her role, and goal, is to help Pasifika students improve their academic achievements. While she admits that it has been challenging at times to ensure that students know she is an available resource, she says that she has gotten around this by walking through the Business school regularly, speaking to students and passing out her contact details.
She acknowledges that tertiary study can seem daunting, especially to those students from overseas. “They [Island-born students] come here and find that education here is different from in the Islands. Some students are shy in the classroom, too shy to ask questions. This Studentship role helps those students”
Currently studying towards her Master of Business, Tupou is researching the barriers for Pacific women wanting to move up in the business world. She says she hopes to enable Pacific women to overcome these barriers, along with educating those in business management.
“I want to help the Pacific Island community… Education is the key; it is the main key for all opportunities in New Zealand. I believe it”