Promoting widening participation and its social value amongst Pacific people in Australia

Type of content
Journal Article
Thesis discipline
Degree name
Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Ravulo, Jioji
Said, Shannon
Micsko, Jim
Purchase, Gayl

Pacific people in Australia are less likely to access university due to structural disadvantages, including isolation from the dominant culture; the overlapping nexus between low socio-economic status and race; and cultural expectations. The PATHE (Pasifika Achievement To Higher Education) program addresses this inequity by a range of interactive student workshops and on-campus visits, support meetings, peer mentoring sessions, and a yearly conference. This paper analyses the effectiveness of the PATHE program through online and paper surveys. The program’s effectiveness was then evaluated utilising the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodological framework. The methodology assigns a financial proxy to the impacts and places participants at the centre of the research process. The results showed the PATHE program is appropriate, effective and efficient. Critically, Pasifika students reported an increased understanding of how further education and training can help their future, an increased confidence to go onto further study, increased interest in university and a deeper understanding of how to use time appropriately to cater for study. The success of the PATHE program is demonstrated by the SROI ratio (represented as a return in dollar value, for every dollar invested), which equated to $4.93 for every $1 spent on the program.

social barriers, structural disadvantage, Māori and Pacific Islander students, higher education
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0