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RNZ Pacific

The new vice-chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology is calling on young Pasifika peoples pursuing their education to stay the course.

Toeolesulusulu Dr Damon Salesa, who is currently a pro vice-chancellor at the University of Auckland takes up his new role at AUT in March.

He is the first person of Pacific descent to head a university in New Zealand.

Toeolesulusulu said the past two years of the covid-19 pandemic have been the most difficult for education in a long time.

He said part of the reason he chose to take up the new role was that AUT provides a pathway to education for people of all ages, backgrounds and races, regardless of the life stage or academic credentials.

“The pressures of the pandemic have forced many young people to have to choose between furthering their education or providing for their families, and institutions like AUT can help.

“Now is a great time to just leave school and get a job,” Toeolesulusulu said.

“But in terms of the future that students’ families need, that our city and our communities need, education still remains the single most powerful way to transform the lives of you and your family and through them our communities.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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