The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world to stop. It has halted societal modes of being and operating, and collective responsibility is now premised on a discourse of prevention or fear. These tensions are also relevant to higher education. In this situation report we aim to elucidate such tensions through Pacific Indigenous philosophy that affirms collective and relational ontologies by way of transnational Pasifika engagement in the university. This report is produced by two Pasifika researchers who have never physically met. However, through the digital vä, their voices are connected to tell this story.
As a Samoan educator, I have frequently heard the claim that Pasifika students need to learn how to learn to succeed at university. As part of the He Vaka Moana Fellowship in 2018, I sought to explore this claim by conducting talanoa with 24 Pasifika students who had taken a Pacific Studies course at the University of Auckland. The talanoa focused on their thoughts about learning and learning processes inside and outside the university. This study demonstrates that Pasifika students know how to learn and frequently reflect on their learning processes.