|Calling NZ Aid Scholars throughout the Pacific|
New Zealand Aid Scholars from the Pacific who have studied at New Zealand universities, such as Lincoln, form a vast and dispersed group of alumni. Little is known about their lives and careers once they have completed their initial period of bonding back in their homelands.
“For a whole range of reasons including geography, technology, and disparate social patterns, there is huge loss of contact with the scholars after their bonding period, and therefore no measurement exists of the long term impact and significance of their New Zealand education,” says Leaupepe Taala Ralph Elika, Programme Development Manager of the Auckland-based Pacific Cooperation Foundation.
It’s a situation the Foundation aims to remedy and the starting point has been three Alumni Networking Evenings spread across the country to promote a collaboration between universities, the Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT Scholarships team) to establish a Pacific Alumni Programme.
Lincoln, Victoria and Auckland were chosen as the pilot universities for networking evenings. Ralph Elika and his team visited Lincoln University on 11 February to introduce the concept of Pacific Alumni Programme and Network and the networking evening was held on 25 March in Te Kete Ika, attended by Pacific students from Lincoln and Canterbury universities and staff members.
It was a highly successful evening in terms of social interaction and conveying the Foundation’s ideas. Sue Bowie who administers the NZ Aid Scholarships at Lincoln University, and Jo Brady the Director of Alumni and Development, both described the
event as the beginning of an exciting new era in the University’s relationship with its Pacific students and their future lives.
Any Pacific alumnus or alumna reading this who is interested in establishing contact with fellow Pacific alumni and with their old university is welcome to contact Sue.Bowie@lincoln.ac.nz or
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