Dr Saten Kumar, of Fijian-Indian descent, grew up in the village of Natadola in the province of Sigatoka, before moving to Nadi to attend high school.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Economics), a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics, and a Master of Commerce from the University of South Pacific, Saten came to New Zealand in 2008 to complete a PhD in economics at AUT.
Saten Kumar says it is rewarding to undertake Pacific research as it is in his personal interest as it affects and impacts the community here in New Zealand and in the Pacific.
Saten has completed research on monetary policies and how the reserve banks operates in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. He examined the Pacific Islands’ economic policy-making and central banks, with a focus on how central banks should be using and hopefully stabilising inflation- for more growth in economy.
“The data from the reserve bank and government is available and so I use economic tools and techniques to analyse it and devise some results and policy implications. The research paper I then write will hopefully contribute to policy-making."
While completing his PhD, AUT offered him a lectureship in economics. He taught undergraduate papers in Intermediate Macroeconomics and Intermediate Econometrics, as well as postgraduate papers in Advanced Macroeconomics.
Saten says his ability to connect and help students comes from his understanding of being part of a collective, something he attributes to his Pacific upbringing.
AUT has helped Saten not only with his career, but with research and teaching in an area that could improve people’s quality of life.