NZ uni executive calls for engagement among Pacific students

 A senior New Zealand university executive has called for greater engagement among students and staff of universities in the Pacific.

Victoria University of Wellington’s Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) Associate Professor Hon. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said there was a need for students and staff of the region to develop and strengthen ties.

Associate Professor Laban made the comments at the Divine Word University in Madang while on a seven day visit to Papua New Guinea touring the six universities in the country.

Associate Professor Laban was at DWU on Friday 22nd March, 2013 where she met with the University’s President, Fr Jan Czuba and the Student Representative Council (SRC).

“I am honoured to come to this university and share a little glimpse of our Pasifika students in Victoria,” said Associate Professor Laban when addressing the SRC.

She told the student leaders that her visit is to strengthen ties with PNG and find opportunities to highlight the existence of the people of the region.

“I believe that education is fundamental and because we were all students, and you are now, we want to show that our Pacific people can do well,” said Associate Professor Laban.

She encouraged the student leaders to be exemplary young leaders for their country.

“Speak up and be organized. Put up a good argument because it’s all about leadership. You are the leaders of your country and the region,” said Associate Professor Laban.

The student leaders and Associate Professor Laban and her team discussed the possible opportunities for higher education and staff and student exchange.

The SRC President, Mr Philip Bosuk welcomed the idea of Pacific people engaging with each other through avenues such as exchange programs among universities in the region.

“Our goal as student Leaders of this University is to live by the university vision and mission statement which is DWU is a National University, open to all, serving society through its quality of research, teaching, learning and community service in a Christian environment. Thus we believe that we will be quality human resources for this nation,” said Mr Bosuk.

Associate Professor Laban, her Executive Officer, Gail  Ah-Hi , two officers from the Office of Higher Education and the Deputy High Commissioner of PNG to New Zealand, Seri Tau-Vali  all encouraged the SRC members to perform their roles diligently . The SRC presented gifts to Associate Professor Laban and members of her party on the same afternoon as a token of appreciation of their visit.