An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Inducted fellows with Dr Helu and Hon PM Sevele (2009)



For the 40th year, ʻAtenisi Institute continues to offer tertiary courses in social science, natural science, humanities, and the arts … culminating in a B.A. or M.A. degree received ad eundem at the University of Auckland.

Among the institute's distinguished alumni are Drs Robin Havea (sr lecturer mathematics, Univ. of the South Pacific/Fiji), Siosifa Ika (analyst, human services dept., Western Australia), and ʻOpeti Taliai (former university dean, ʻAtenisi).

40th Anniversary Message from the Director

directorForty years ago my father launched a university here at ʻAtenisi. He believed that students should be taught how – not what – to think.

He would have been dismayed by the current drift towards commercial and technical instruction at universities throughout the world.

He believed the pillars of classical education – philosophy, mathematics, history, literature, and music – remain the most effective facilitators of critical analysis.

Mere skill, he argued – whether commercial or technical – dooms the expert to focusing on trees whilst the forest burns. Indeed, from global recessions to nuclear power plants, we have seen economists and engineers watch helplessly as the results of their one-dimensional knowledge collapse before their eyes.

To prospective under- or postgraduates … to Tonga’s working people … to visiting consultants and scholars from overseas, we say talitali lelei: take advantage of ʻAtenisi’s B.A. and M.A. programmes, 3000-volume library, Tongan dance and language instruction, vocal and instrumental coaching, and free evening lectures.

At age 40, ʻAtenisi remains wise and innovative. There’s simply nothing in the Pacific like it.

director's hand

Institute director

ʻAtenisi registration


An affiliate of the Macmillan Brown centre
for Pacific studies

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