|dc.description.abstract||In recent decades, there has been an influx of Pasifika peoples into Australia via Aotearoa (New Zealand), often motivated by educational and employment opportunities. However, there is a paucity of research in Australia relating to the educational journey of Pasifika students and therefore a lack of evidence to support the development of robust initiatives to increase participation, retention, and success of this student cohort at university. In this study, I have provided some much-needed insights into Pasifika student success: the tensions, ambiguities, and ambivalences of self-efficacy formation as Pasifika students engage in Australian universities in preparation for their intended professions in the global marketplace. The research insights extend Hau’ofa’s metaphor of the Pacific Ocean to these shores: an ocean that Western knowledges assert separates the islands within it, as opposed to traditional Pasifika knowledges that assert the ocean is that which connects them. These perspectives platform diverging narratives and mindsets, feelings and behaviours – one of hopelessness and the other of hope.
Narrative inquiry, and its key dimensions of temporality, place, and sociality, was adopted as the methodology for the study, due to its alignment to Pasifika worldviews and its ability to foreground the participants’ stories about their success and self-efficacy. The research was underpinned by postcolonial theory and informed by Pacific epistemology and ontologies. Six Pasifika students and graduates participated in this research – two were university students at the time of the interviews, two were recent graduates (graduating in the year before the interviews), and two were graduates who had been working in management positions in their given industries. Their stories or narratives were presented as a whole and aligned with the research lens of narrative inquiry. Four themes emerged from their narratives: (a) sources of self-efficacy, (b) the impacts of their self-efficacy on their educational outputs, (c) bridges and barriers to educational success for Pasifika peoples, and (d) self-efficacy in the collective context.
The findings of this study inform the development of educational initiatives to support Pasifika student self-efficacy and success so that the motives for migration may be realised. The research concluded that Pasifika students are motivated by the collective success of their surrounding community: family, peers, church, and/or the Pasifika community in general. Current self-efficacy measures need to incorporate the effects of collective cultures on educational outputs to be relevant for Pasifika peoples. Incorporating this collectivity can allow for more comprehensive data to evidence the real protective factors for Pasifika success.||