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AUT establishes Pasifika Advancement plan

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AUT ESTABLISHES PASIFIKA ADVANCEMENT PLAN
http://www.aut.ac.nz

AUCKLAND (AUT/Pacific Media Watch): Auckland University of Technology, the university with New Zealand's largest communication studies and journalism programme, is boosting its Pacific education programme by creating an Office of Pasifika Advancement.

This follows a report prepared by AUT's Alfred Schuster, formerly of the University of the South Pacific, and Michael Jones of AUT Community Partnerships.

A statement said development would build on and support the significant progress made by key staff working in equity, student services, university relations and in the faculties for the people of Auckland's Pacific communities.

The new Office of Pasifika Advancement responds to several factors such as:

* The NZ Government's Tertiary Education Strategy which says:"The focus of the [Pasifika Education] Plan is on increasing participation ... and encouraging higher levels of study."

An aim of the plan is for "the tertiary education system to have developed a greater shared sense of responsibility for understanding and meeting the needs of Pacific peoples and will ensure that more Pacific students gain high level generic and specialist skills."

* Demographic changes in Auckland - Pacific peoples are rapidly becoming a large market and an important sector in the future of the region. Auckland is the world's largest Polynesian city.

Applications are being sought for the office director.

Last year, AUT's School of Communication Studies established an annual double scholarship (undergraduate and postgraduate) for Pasifika journalism and media studies students in partnership with the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA).

+++niuswire

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