Navigating Fiji’s higher education landscape with indigenous research methodologies

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Kwan, Charmaine
Anderson, Vivienne

My doctoral study explored the development of the Fiji higher education sector following the 2006 coup, from 2007 to 2017, and the challenges faced by the sector during this time. The study involved interviews with government officials and higher education stakeholders, alongside analysis of key policy texts. As a Fijian researcher doing potentially sensitive research, I was acutely aware of the need to conduct the study in a way that was robust, but beneficial to Fiji and Fijians. I was also aware of my status as a Fijian (and former government employee) who was bonded to return ‘home’. In this paper, I describe my study context, and the considerations that led me to draw on the Fijian Vanua Research Framework as an ethical and methodological guide for my research. I describe how I applied the Fijian Vanua Research Framework at each stage of my study, and conclude with some reflections on research, reciprocity and research ethics in politically sensitive contexts.

Fijian Vanua Research Framework, methodology, cultural knowledge, Fijian culture, higher education, Fiji
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0