Faculty of Education and Social Work


Research Unit in Pacific and International Education

RUPIE carries out research in Oceania and globally to extend knowledge about Pacific Education.

rupie

The Research Unit in Pacific and International Education (RUPIE) acts as a centre for the implementation, coordination, publication and dissemination of research in education and development in Oceania, and globally, which extends existing knowledge about Pacific Education.

RUPIE is a school-based research unit, located in CRSTIE. It serves the Pasifika communities, both in New Zealand and abroad, by providing expert advice and information about Pacific Education issues. It has attracted considerable funding from a range of national and international organisations including The World Bank and United Nations organisations.
 

Objectives


To enable scholars and researchers in Pasifka education and postgraduate students:

  1. To seek national and international research contracts
  2. To work collaboratively with RUPIE researchers in generation of research outputs and completion of postgraduate theses.
     

Background


RUPIE is a CRSTIE-based research unit, developed from RUPE (2000-2005) which was established for the coordination, publication and dissemination of research into Pacific Education. RUPE’s revitalisation now includes International Education. This was prompted by a number of members having been involved in education developments beyond NZ and the Pacific - e.g. Afghanistan, Krgyzstan, Timor Leste - and a growing amount of postgraduate student interest in global/international education developments.

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Developments mid 2009-2011


Since mid-2009, twelve Faculty of Education staff, ten of them Pasifika, and five postgraduate students (two Pasifika) have been directly engaged in RUPIE activities. A further eight postgraduate students are becoming involved in RUPIE activities. Research contracts amounting to nearly $NZ2 million have been won.

  • RUPIE was contracted in March 2010 to undertake research evaluation in collaboration with NZCER on the ASB Community Trust’s Maori & Pasifika Evaluation Initiative (MPEI). This programme involved three senior and four emerging RUPIE staff researchers.
  • The RUPIE director and a RUPIE PhD student were funded by NZMFAT’s International Development Research Fund for a two-year study, in collaboration with two University of the South Pacific academics, on new modes of educational aid delivery in the Pacific.
  • Senior RUPIE members facilitated the publication of a quality assured journal dedicated to the documentation of Pacific education research (‘New Directions in Pacific Education’ MAI Review). Eleven RUPIE members (five senior/six emerging) were contributors.
  • RUPIE’s Director was contracted to the Government of Tonga and NZMFAT to advise on a 12 month extension of the World Bank/NZMFAT/AusAID Tonga Education Sector Programme (TESP).
  • The contract was extended to a desk study evaluation of the TESP with RUPIE Research Associate included in the contract as Consultant Researcher.
  • RUPIE’s Director facilitated the World Bank contracting of a RUPIE PhD student member to undertake a research study on second-chance education and training in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
  • RUPIE’s Director facilitated NZMFAT funding support for a RUPIE PhD student member to present his doctoral research findings on Timor Leste curriculum reform to TLMOE officials and aid donor representatives in Dili.
  • The RUPIE director and a RUPIE PhD student were contracted by NZMFAT to evaluate the effectiveness of the Global Education Fund.
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Developments 2012


During 2012 RUPIE is pursuing activities in the following areas:

  • New Zealand: ECE Participation Programme, including Pasifika communities and children
  • Nauru: Curriculum development: Citizenship and nation building through Social Studies education.
  • Tonga: Teacher Education
  • Samoa: Language and Literacy in Samoan primary classrooms.
  • Pacific Region: UNESCO study of regional Pacific education policy and planning systems.

In addition, scholars are undertaking individual research programmes in a range of areas of importance to Pasifika education and education in the Pacific, including:

  • Samoan male participation in ECE teacher education (Seiuli Luama Sauni)
  • Play in Pasifika ECE (Manutai Leaupepe)
  • The public sector and Pasifika participation and achievement in New Zealand tertiary education (Dr Airini)
  • Pasifika education research priorities (Dr Diane Mara, Assoc Prof Eve Coxon)
  • Education solutions for child poverty in New Zealand (Dr Airini)
  • Pasifika bilingual education futures in New Zealand schooling and ECE (Patisepa Tuafuti, John McCaffery)
  • Pasifika theory of spirituality and ECE pedagogy (Vaovasamanaia Meripa Toso)
  • Pasifika education in relation to Maori education (Tanya Wendt Samu)
  • Citizenship and nation building through Social Studies education in Nauru (Tanya Wendt Samu, Alexis Siteine).

Future development

A process and proposal has been put in place for RUPIE’s transition to a Research Centre with a global/regional focus, with links to scholars in other key research areas such as Pacific Studies and Development Studies. The proposal to establish the school-based Centre for Research in Education and Development in Oceania (CREDO) is currently under consideration at the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Once CREDO is formally established, RUPIE activities will be accommodated within CREDO and the unit disestablished.

The academic and research mission of CREDO is:
To establish a centre of excellence for the implementation, coordination, publication and dissemination of research in education and development in Oceania, and globally, which will extend existing knowledge about Pacific Education; serve Pasifika communities, both in New Zealand and abroad, by providing expert advice and information about Pacific Education issues; complement Faculty of Education and Social Work undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes; and contribute to the global debate on regionalism in education and its implications for education and development in Oceania.

The objective is to increase scope and potential such that CREDO will soon become a Faculty of Education and Social Work centre and later a University Research Centre.

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Contact


For information on RUPIE activities, please contact:

Assoc Prof Eve Coxon
Email: e.coxon@auckland.ac.nz
Ph: +64 9 623 8899 ext 87986
 

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