An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Procession (2008)




Each version of the QMS will begin by restating the following:


ʻAtenisi tertiary instruction began in 1975. Noted alumni, among others, include Dr Robin Havea (Senior lecturer, University of the South Pacific, Fiji), ʻEiki Tuʻiʻāfitu (former Minister of Health, Kingdom of Tonga), Dr Viliami Latu (former Minister of Commerce, Kingdom of Tonga), Luisa Tuʻiʻāfitu Malolo (Climate Change director, Kingdom of Tonga), Dr Siosifa Ika (former human services officer, State of Western Australia), and Dr ʻOpeti Taliai (former ʻAtenisi dean).

ʻAtenisiʻs founder, the late Dr ʻIlaisa Futa Helu, believed all Tongans ought have access to tertiary education regardless of their financial situation … and that families shouldnʻt need to endure the hardship of sending their daughters and sons overseas to obtain tertiary education.

Dr Helu was inspired by the philosophers of ancient Greece, and sought to bring their tradition of free enquiry and robust debate to Tonga. He also strived to create an academy where Polynesian and palangi scholars could mingle and learn from one another.

Our Philosophy:

All the policies of the ʻAtenisi Institute are based upon its unique and influential philosophy of education. The two pillars of this philosophy are critical thinking and cross-cultural exchange.

ʻAtenisiʻs pedagogy is designed to deploy critical analysis and cultural interaction. Its instructors encourage students to analyse and debate what they are studying, rather than simply absorb information and repeat catch phrases. The instituteʻs classrooms are places where diverse voices are heard, and where disagreement is encouraged rather than stifled.

ʻAtenisi implements cultural exchange by welcoming students, faculty and ideas from overseas. Mizue Tada, an Okinawan undergraduate, was in residence throughout 2013. Over the past four decades a series of distinguished international scholars and artists have joined the ʻAtenisi faculty for one or more semesters to share their ideas and learn about Tonga; among others, the roster includes historian Dr Ian C. Campbell, the late anthropologist Dr Max R Rimoldi, sociologist Dr Scott Hamilton, educator Dr Eve Coxon, classicist Dr William Berg, poet Leialoha Apo Perkins, and filmmaker Paul Janman. And throughout 1998, the noted anthropologist Dr ʻOkusitino Māhina served as professor and dean of the academy here at ʻAtenisi.

In turn, ʻAtenisi faculty and graduates have studied and taught internationally. Books, journal articles, lectures, colloquia by these scholars – even an acclaimed documentary film – have garnered global attention. Over the past seven years, ʻAtenisiʻs current dean, Dr Michael Horowitz, has been in summer residence at four New Zealand universities – Auckland, Otago, Victoria, and Canterbury – and visiting autumn lecturer at the University of Waikato.

All of ʻAtenisiʻs day-to-day policies are designed to put critical thinking and cultural exchange into practice. Because we want students to think critically and debate fearlessly, we have policies to ensure their rights and safety. Because we encourage exchange with different cultures, we have policies to ensure equality and non-discrimination on campus. Because we believe that Tonga benefits from robust public debate, we organise monthly events like our public lecture series and special events like our Festival of Democracy in June 2014.


The purpose of institute policy is to define the principles and guidelines for effective, sustainable and viable operation that are consistent with the vision and mission of its late founder Dr ʻI Futa Helu, as cited below. Although lodged in accordance with TNQAB parameters, it not strictly limited to those guidelines. Consequently, the instituteʻs Quality Management System is a living document, allowing flexibility and ongoing assessment.

Our Vision Statement:

  1. To foster the development of critical scepticism, intellectual autonomy, rationality, logical analysis, and, where appropriate, scientific methodology in the Pacific Islands;
  2. To foster the development of autonomous institutions in the Pacific Islands, specifically intellectual independence from religious and political institutions;
  3. To deepen appreciation of European civilisation among the people of the Pacific Islands, including their proficiency in the English language and their appreciation of European literature, drama, music and opera;
  4. To deepen global appreciation of the civilisation, wisdom and art of the people of the Pacific Islands, including song and dance;
  5. To foster partnership between Tongan and international academics and performing arts talent at all levels of the institution, including governance and operations;
  6. To develop and maintain systems for the institution to ensure the achievement of excellence in delivery and development;
  7. To help students help themselves by empowering them to take control over their own destinies.

Our Mission Statement:

  1. To offer tertiary instruction based on the traditional disciplines within the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and arts, with an emphasis on the interaction between theory and practise in these disciplines;
  2. To assist proficiency in tertiary education towards the eventual attainment of postgraduate and professional degrees;
  3. 3. To maintain discrete colleges of both the Arts & Sciences and Performing Arts, to be supplemented, when appropriate, by discrete colleges instructing technology, applied science, commerce and vocational trades;

Our Values:

  1. To regard philosophy as the mother of theory guiding the traditional disciplines;
  2. Exclude academic courses confined to subcultures defined by gender, race or sexual orientation;
  3. Permit the established components of the institute, that is, the tertiary academy and the Performing Arts centre to operate autonomously within the Institute as a means of guaranteeing academic and artistic freedom.





The institute is composed of three divisions: tertiary academy, academic research, and performing arts; on a day-to-day basis, each division operates autonomously as a means of insuring academic and artistic freedom.

The institute is administered by the following units:



Current members include:

Chairperson/Institute director: Sisiʻuno Helu; Treasurer: Firitia Velt; Secretary: ʻAtolomake Helu; NZ representative: Lose Miller

EX OFFICIO (non-voting)

Dean: Dr Michael Horowitz; Enterprise Consultant: Dianne Warner

The Board convenes quarterly, employs the Institute director annually, and, when required, judges appeals from the Faculty Senate on demand.


The institute director supervises ʻAtenisiʻs three divisions – tertiary academy, academic research, and performing arts – and manages the performing arts centre.


The dean manages the former two divisions, and is advised by the Faculty Senate.


The Faculty Senate is the advisory body of the tertiary academic and academic research divisions. Every instructor in the tertiary academy retains a single vote, except the dean, who may only vote to break a tie. In addition, a non-voting student representative is invited to each meeting.

The Senate is responsible for devising programmes and policy designed to promote, maintain and monitor academic standards. It recommends to the Dean:

In addition, the Senate entertains appeals lodged by faculty, staff, or students on any academic matter. And any member representing the Senateʻs criticism of any decision of the Dean may, if so delegated, appeal said decision to the Board of Directors.


Associated Students conducts course and instructor evaluation, and sends a representative to the Faculty Senate. In its deliberations, each enrolled student is entitled to a single vote.


ʻAtenisi is focused on achieving quality student outcomes through professional and innovative staff delivering a broad sustainable mix of courses. Quality means ensuring that students are taught by scholars expert in their disciplines. ʻAtenisi will strive to accommodate the technology that supports effective instruction and accessibility. It also means that systems need to be in place that enable students to learn in a safe and supportive environment complemented by individual learning support. This requires the contribution and commitment of every member of the ʻAtenisi community.

In summary, ʻAtenisi will develop and enhance its reputation for the provision of quality learning and teaching in a safe and supportive environment. It will provide all stakeholders with an assurance that quality education is supplied both internally and externally. It will establish clear procedures for all staff. The staff and students are the primary resource for the development, implementation and improvement of quality. It will provide continuous improvement in all educational and administrative services. It will operate according to sound business principles with a reliable and consistent quality of performance and financial responsibility.

Key components of quality management are quality control, quality assurance, self evaluation, quality improvement and when required, rigourous auditing. These quality components are cross referenced to the TNQAB standards for quality management.

Definition of Quality Components

Quality control - Quality assurance -

Self Evaluation

the procedures within ʻAtenisi which ensure compliance with quality standards. The focus is on inputs and outputs.

the procedures and actions used to enable key stakeholders to have confidence about the quality control procedures and standards achieved in outputs.

a reflective process that involves a focus on improving learning outcomes, the key processes influencing learning outcomes, the quality of the learning experience and which supports a culture of continuous improvement. The following 6 evaluation questions will be used as a guide:

  1. How well do learners achieve?
  2. What is the value of the outcomes for key stakeholders including learners?
  3. How well do programs and activities match the needs of learners and other stakeholders?
  4. How effective is the teaching?
  5. How well are learners guided and supported?
  6. How effective are governance and management in supporting educational achievement?

Quality improvement - the processes used to improve/enhance the quality standards.

Quality audit - the process of external scrutiny to provide guarantees about the quality control procedures in place. This can be in the form of self evaluation and external evaluation too.


Policies are developed according to the following main categories:

Academic Policies

A1 Program development, approval and accreditation (to be developed TBD)

A2 Ownership of Intellectual Property (TBD)

A3 Research;

The following types of research are conducted at ʻAtenisi:

  1. Basic or fundamental: experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without any particular application or use in view.
  2. Strategic: work that is intended to generate new knowledge in an area that has not yet advance sufficiently to enable specific applications to be identified.
  3. Applied: work that develops or tests existing knowledge and is primarily directed towards either specific practical objectives or towards the evaluation of policies or practices.
  4. Academic: work which is intended to expand the boundaries of knowledge and understanding within and across disciplines by the analysis, synthesis and interpretation of ideas and information, making use of a rigorous methodology.
  5. Creative: the invention and generation of ideas hypotheses, images, performances or artefacts, including design, in any field of knowledge, leading development of new knowledge, understanding of expertise.

This policy applies to all research activities of staff and students at ʻAtenisi. There are a number of scenarios in which students become involved in research, i.e.:

A3.1 courses require the student to complete individual, group or even class research projects as part of gaining course credit;

A3.2 student participating as research assistants in internal research projects carried out by staff that have been approved by the research committee;

A3.3 student participating as research assistants in projects carried out by staff members who are conducting research as part of their own post-graduate qualifications;

A3.4 students carrying out research projects within programmes run the other tertiary institutions; and

A3.5 students carrying out research for a Bachelor's honours dissertation, Master's or Doctoral thesis.

The research committee will ensure that appropriate advice, guidance, academic and operational procedures are in place to recognize and support the role of research within the institute. We will use best endeavours to comply with all legislation and will support research projects that have the potential to enhance the professional profile of staff, improve student outcomes, the content and delivery of educational programmes and develop or foster relations with the community.

The Senate will establish a research committee. Their job will be to oversee all research functions including identifying the areas and disciplines of strategic importance for the degrees and courses on offer at ʻAtenisi; administer research funds when available and advise the Senate on research policy and procedures.

All research conducted by staff and students at ʻAtenisi will be required to go through the formal approval process. ʻAtenisi will ensure clear ethical guidelines are in place to provide protection for ʻAtenisiʻs staff and students. Further ʻAtenisi will support staff researchers to disseminate their research findings widely through publication and public presentations and where appropriate to incorporate such activities into their professional development.

A4 Advisory Committees (TBD)

A5 Accumulation of Academic Credit (TBD)

A6 Academic Appeals

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for student appeals on any academic matter relating to a programme of study. The policy applies to all students studying in any academic programme.

A6.1 A student may appeal to the Faculty Senate on any decision, action or omission in respect to academic matters relating to their programme of study.

A6.2 The academic matter is initially discussed with the instructor; however, if the student remains unsatisfied, the matter is referred in writing to the Dean for a written response.

A6.3 If the matter is still unresolved after seven days, a written appeal is lodged with the secretary of the Faculty Senate and an appeal meeting convened.

A7 Student Entry, Selection and Withdrawals, Fees and Refunds

The purpose of this policy is to provide a system for the admission and withdrawal of students enrolled in courses including the setting, collection and refund of fees and the appropriate recognition of academic results.

Student Entry and Selection

A7.1 ʻAtenisi will establish and approve student entry requirements and selection criteria that are:

A7.2 ʻAtenisi will consider a student for special admission who does not satisfy standard academic requirements but who in the opinion of the Dean is capable of negotiating the course or programme.

A7.3 Late enrolments to a course may only be granted within the first two (2) weeks of a course commencement date. An exception may occur if the student has gained approval of prior learning and therefore enters the course at an agreed date.

A7.4 Before enrolling international students into a course of study, ʻAtenisi will ensure that the student has authorised entry into Tonga and that the course and study programme is approved for accepting international students.

A7.5 The Student Handbook defines entry criteria for admission. The requirement for special admission – including admission with advanced standing – is at the discretion of the Dean or his representative.

A7.6 Should demand for places increase, the management team, the Dean and the Faculty Senate will ensure the documentation and publication of entry requirements and selection criteria on the institute website.

A7.7 Determination of student eligibility must:

A7.8 When selection procedure is completed the student is to be advised of the outcome in writing. Copies of all documents is be retained for audit and academic appeal processes.

A7.9 All student entry requirement and selection criteria will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the requirements are fair and equitable. Review will include an analysis of programme retention, pass rates and withdrawals.

Setting Fees

A7.10 Each December, the institute director shall review and post student tuition costs and other fees.

A7.11 ʻAtenisi will publish costs and fees in the Student Handbook for the coming year; they shall  also be posted on the website.

A7.12 ‘Atenisi will publish its withdrawal/refund of fees policy.

Payment of Fees

A7.13 All fees and outstanding debts to ʻAtenisi must be paid 7 days prior to commencement of study or proof must be provided that a scholarship application is in progress.

A7.14 All enrolment must be accompanied by a registration fee of $100.00

A7.15 Detail relating to payment options for full and part-time programmes is contained in the Student Handbook.

A7.16 Any fees which remain unpaid after 14 days of the commencement of the course, the student will enter the debt collection cycle. He/she shall not obtain any assessment results, certificates, or be permitted to enrol in any further course/programme until all outstanding debts, including library fines are paid or satisfactory arrangement for payment has been made with ʻAtenisi.

A7.17 In selected cases student tuition fees may be discounted or waived to achieve a desired outcome that has been agreed between the student, dean and institute treasurer.


A7.18 All fees paid by the student will be refunded if the program is cancelled by ‘Atenisi.

A7.19ʻAtenisi reserves the right to cancel programmes and limit student numbers in any course or programme. ʻAtenisi must give a full time student 2 weeks notice of the intention to cancel a course or programme. In the case of short courses the notice period is 24 hours.

A7.20 ʻAtenisi can cancel, postpone or reschedule classes without notice if variation is caused by a reason beyond its control.

Student Withdrawal/Modification from Programs and Academic Consequences

A7.21 Students who either advise of their intention not to attend prior to course commencement, do not attend, or stop attending a course of programme during the first 2 weeks will be treated as ABSENT and will be actioned as ABSENT in the Student Management System.

A7.22 For course based enrolments, students withdrawn from one or more courses in the study programme after the first 2 weeks from the start date but before 8 weeks of the enrolment period, may receive a letter grade “W” representing the withdrawal from that course, on their academic record.

A7.23 A student who wishes to modify their enrolment in a course is to notify the instructor or Dean in writing. The instructor will then meet with the student to discuss the modification.

Student Withdrawal and Financial Consequences

A7.24 All formal withdrawals must be made in writing, email or by text message to the course instructor or secretary for the institution. Evidence of the communication must be logged into the Student Management System.

A7.25 Where a student has not formally withdrawn they will be noted as “Withdrawn” in the Student Management System and charged an administration charge as follows:

  1. when the course or programme was cancelled by ʻAtenisi the full fee shall be refunded or waived;
  2. when proper notice is received by the commencement of the course or programme, 50% of the tuition fees paid less an administration charge of $100.00 will be refunded. In the event of a student not having paid the compulsory registration fee a sum of $100.00 an administration fee of $100.00 will be charged.
  3. in the event that notice is received up to 2 weeks after the start of the course or programme, 50% tuition fees less and administration fee of $100 will be refunded. In the event of a student not having paid the compulsory registration fee a sum of $100.00 will be charged.

A8 International Students (TBD)

A9 Evaluative Quality Assurance (TBD)

A10 Off Campus Activities (TBD)

A11 Evaluation of Academic Programs

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the evaluation of academic courses or programs that is guided by the following principles:


A11.1 Data that is useful for continuing improvement to be collected;

A11.2 Data relating to quality of the learning environment, teaching and resources to be collected and collated for use in benchmarking and reporting purposes;

A11.3 Data needs to be extracted easily and used for situations such as trend analysis;

A11.4 Data collected contributes to the improvement of programs and teaching;

Moderation by Students:

A11.5 Data collation and reporting needs to be streamlined to provide fast response to student feedback.

A11.6 Students value the ability to provide these evaluations;

A11.7 Students need to feel safe to provide honest feedback;

A11.8 Student feedback is expected to be constructive and to give examples where possible to assist with issue resolution and improvement;

A11.9.1 Survey instructions need to be written in clear and simple terms to ensure that they have meaning to students, and to encourage greater participation; an example of which is:

Questionnaire for internal moderation

(to be given to students of each paper taught at ‘Atenisi)

This questionnaire is not compulsory, but students are urged to complete it carefully and honestly, so that the improvement of ‘Atenisi can be monitored and, where necessary, improved. The questionnaire answers will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Questionnaire answers will be read by a subcommittee made up of members of the ‘Atenisi Board of Directors who do not have direct involvement with teaching at the institution, and will thus not face any potential conflicts of interest.

If a questionnaire contains allegations of misconduct or incompetence against a staff member, then the Board’s subcommittee will launch an inquiry into that staff member. If the Board finds that breaches of ‘Atenisi’s ethical and professional guidelines have occurred, then appropriate action will be taken in accordance with the ‘Atenisi constitution and, if necessary, the Tongan legal system. The Board of Directors will report on any alleged breaches of ethical and professional guidelines to ‘Atenisi’s external moderators, so that these moderators can monitor events and express their opinions.

Questionnaire answers which contain general criticisms of ‘Atenisi, rather than specific allegations against a staff member, will be pondered by the ‘Atenisi Senate. The Senate will produce a report on the criticisms and any appropriate steps which can be taken in response to them; this report will be passed onto the ‘Atenisi Board of Directors, which will decide whether or not to implement its findings.


  1. Is the instructor knowledgeable about the discipline at the level at which you are enrolled?
  2. Do the lectures and/or seminars hold your interest?
  3. Do you find it difficult to follow the instructor’s lectures and/or commentary?
  4. Does the instructor repeat and then explain concepts the class appears to find difficult?
  5. Is there opportunity to question the instructor in class?

  7. Is the instructor accessible before or after class?
  8. If and when you locate the instructor before or after class, does his or her guidance prove useful?

  10. Was a course outline distributed during the first two weeks of class?
  11. Has a course outline ever been distributed?
  12. Does the class progress too quickly for you to keep up … or too slowly to retain your interest?
  13. Are assignments at your level too complicated for you to complete on time … or too simple for you to respect? Are there too many assignments in this class for you to complete on time … or not enough for you to measure your progress?
  14. Is too much reading required ... or too little for you to master the subject?

  16. Are textbooks, excerpts from textbooks, and/or other readings distributed in class?
  17. Are textbooks, excerpts from textbooks, and/or other readings available in the library?
  18. Are textbooks, excerpts from textbooks, and/or other readings accessible digitally?
  19. Please make any other comments you would like, whether positive or negative, about the course you studied, or about other aspects of your experiences at ʻAtenisi.

A11.9.2 Commencing November 2015, each questionnaire shall contain the following supplementary questions regarding academic resources:

  1. Is the ʻAtenisi library sufficiently diverse, thorough, and contemporary to adequately support research you have undertaken for your courses? In what ways can it be improved?
  2. Is access to the Internet on campus sufficiently accessible and robust to adequately support research? How can access be improved?
  3. Once online on campus, do you have access to a sufficient number of databases and journals to adequately support research? How can access to databases and journals be improved?
  4. Do you have access to the Internet off campus to support research? Is your access off campus at home and/or at a friend’s and/or at an Internet café? If you access the Internet at a café, are you or your family able to afford the cost?

A11.10 Student feedback must be addressed in a timely action plan.

A11.11 Staff need to have confidence that their teaching evaluations are not inappropriately shared;

A11.12 Teaching evaluations are used as part of reflective practice and continual teaching development.

Moderation of Assessment by the Faculty:

A11.13 The purpose of moderation is to ensure there is a uniform interpretation and application of assessment standards. Moderation checks that assessment is valid and reliable.

  1. Assessment will be subject to internal moderation that ensures consistent interpretation and assessment of defined standards (learning outcomes and performance criteria).
  2. Assessment will be subject to appropriate external moderation.

A11.14 INTERNAL MODERATION PROCEDURE – a 2 prong process:

  1. Pre-assessment Moderation
    1. The Dean, or in due course, Head of Departments (HOD) is responsible for checking that the Course Requirement statements to be given to students at the beginning of each course match the assessment requirements as specified in the approved course outline. A copy of each Course Requirement statement, verified with the relevant lecturer’s signature is to be given to Academic Committee Chair in the week before the beginning of the semester.
    2. The lecturer is responsible for submitting all assessment tasks with the criteria for assessment and mark/grade distribution (if marks or grades are to be used) to the Dean/HOD for moderation before they are given to students.
    3. The Dean/HOD has assessment tasks for courses he/she teaches moderated by another member of the faculty or department as the case may be.
    4. The Dean/HOD is responsible for keeping copies of the moderated tasks on file, signed and dated appropriately.
    5. Moderation and proof reading of examination papers is the responsibility of the Dean/HOD.
  2. Post-assessment Moderation
    1. Each lecturer is responsible for collecting samples of marked students’ work for internal moderation by another suitably experienced lecturer before being returned to the students; These same samples may be filed by the Dean/HOD for external moderation purposes as noted below.
    2. The Academic Committee is responsible for internally auditing the moderation procedures. This may involve calling a formal meeting with the lecturers, or require individual lecturers to justify moderation actions, or require a review of moderation procedures for a particular department perhaps as a response to comments in an external moderators report.
The following diagram illustrates the procedures for internal moderation:
 The Dean/HOD checks Course Requirement statements given to students to ensure they match the assessment requirements as specified in the approved course outline. A signed copy is given to Academic Committee Chair. 
Lecturers submit examination papers to the Dean/HOD, for moderation and editing. The moderator signs, dates and files moderated examination papers. Lecturers submit all assessment tasks and assessment criteria for moderation before they are given to students. The moderator signs, dates and files moderated assessment tasks.
Post Assessment Moderation

Lecturers provide samples of marked students’ work for internal moderation by another suitably experienced lecturer before being returned to the students.

Receive feedback and recommendations and implement improvements and changes. 
Internal Audit of Moderation

The established Academic Committee is to monitor moderation procedures by auditing moderation actions.

 Results documented and filed 


This monitoring process is conducted in consultation with external academics who are either still on staff at universities around the world or recent retirees from universities around the world.

‘Atenisi will continue to request the availability of external moderators up to and including requests being sent to known individual academics and/or to external universities around the globe to lend assistance in acting as external moderators.

The material for this external assessment will include the following although the list is not to be considered exhaustive:

  1. course outlines,
  2. schemes of work,
  3. assessment tasks,
  4. examinations. and
  5. samples of students work in all courses.

A typical external moderator’s report will verify the assessment decisions made and endorse the Academic Committee’s decisions as to which students have completed the requirements for the award of the qualification. The report could also contain some general statements regarding academic changes made since the previous report was written, some general recommendations on any areas that could be improved academically, and some specific comments on each lecturer individually.

Feedback from external moderation is invaluable for evaluation of ‘Atenisi’s teaching culture. For this reason general issues raised in reports will be made available to all the lecturers and individual comments will be relayed confidentially by the Chairman of the Academic Committee to those concerned for self- assessment.

A12 Reporting Student Progress and Results

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistency in the compilation, presentation and certification of student achievement. The University Data files or Student Management System are held at the Tauʻolunga Komipiuta Centre at Fasi moe Afi and operated by Firitia Velt, former Associate Dean and institute treasurer.

A12.1 ‘Atenisi will provide students with effective, accurate and timely advice on their learning progress and final achievement. Students on full time full year programs will be informed of their progress at least once at end of each semester exams.

A12.2 Assessment results will be approved under delegation by the Faculty Senate and the instructor of the particular student.

A12.3 The award of qualifications will be recommended for approval to Board of Directors by the Faculty Senate.

A12.4 Student results and records will be handled in a manner preserving the right of the students for privacy. It is displayed using student numbers.

A12.5 Written references can be provided on request by a student for a defined purpose. It will be prepared by the student’s instructor and to be signed by the Dean.

A12.6 Each student is given a student number to access his/her records held at the Tauʻolunga Komipiuta Centre.

A12.7 There is an opportunity to appeal the results of assessments in a manner which is fair and equitable and the appeal procedure is published in the Student Regulations.

A13 Academic Records

The purpose of this policy is to establish a system for keeping and reporting records of student achievement in the programs of study. The policy applies to all students and all programs of study.

A13.1 ‘Atenisi will record accurately store securely in perpetuity and maintain timely records relating to the final results of students. Collection, access, use and disclosure will be in accordance with the privacy principles. Any disposal of records will be in accordance with these same principles.

A13.2 Original or certified records as presented by the student relevant to prior learning experience, credit transfer, cross-credits and exemptions will be maintained by Tauʻolunga Komipiuta Centre at Fasi moe Afi for the Board of Directors on the ‘Atenisi Institute

A13.3 Upon giving reasonable notice, students will be able to view all academic records relating to them as individuals that are held by ‘Atenisi.

A13.4 ‘Atenisi will not disclose individual student results to a third person without the written consent of the student concerned.

A13.5 Storage of academic records will ensure ongoing access to a verified record on the student requests is possible.

A13.6 There will be an accurate interface between ‘Atenisi's archive records and those currently required.

A14 Prizes, Awards and Scholarships (TBD)

A15 Equal Education Opportunities (TBD)

A16 Certification (TBD)

A17 Assessment Misconduct

There may be doubt about the authenticity of work submitted for reassessment or suggestions of misconduct during examinations. The purpose of this policy is to give a framework for effectively managing any instances of assessment misconduct

This policy applies to all instances of summative assessment

A17.1 Students are expected to follow the principles of academic integrity in all assessment activities and are expected to submit assessments for marking on the basis that they are their own work, and that the assignment was prepared with integrity.

A17.2 Students will be required to provide assurance about the authenticity of any work submitted in their names for assessment. Students must ensure that any work that is not their own is acknowledged in the accepted manner for tertiary education.

A17.3 Academic staff will support students to reference sources appropriately, providing formative learning opportunities and materials to assist understanding of all aspects of correct referencing to ensure integrity of this work.

A17.4 For the future we must ensure that the website contains the conditions and guidelines regarding authenticity, referencing, plagiarism, copying, cheating, and copyright infringements. All academic staff will remain up-to-date with variants of cheating that emerge with technology.

A17.5 Instances of assessment misconduct will be managed following the principles of promptness, natural justice, impartiality, consistency, and fairness.

A17.6 Instances where a student freely acknowledges assessment misconduct will be managed by the immediate instructor. However, instances of serious and unacknowledged misconduct will be referred to the Faculty Senate and managed through the student discipline process.

A17.7 Where the students are suspected of assessment misconduct the following processes will be followed:

  1. the tutor will assess the amount of suspected assessment misconduct and prepare evidence and discuss matter with Dean.
  2. where the intent of the student is clearly innocent, the work will be assessed as is. If appropriate, advice on academic integrity may be given by the tutor to the student.
  3. Where doubt persists, a meeting is to be arranged with the student, support person, relevant tutor and Dean and the evidence of allegation will be presented to provide the student with an opportunity to provide an explanation.
  4. Where assessment misconduct is established and acknowledged by the student, the student may be instructed to resubmit the assessment. Other actions can include awarding a reduced grade or awarding a failing/mark or grade with a note made on the file.
  5. Where the assessment misconduct is serious or has not been acknowledged by the student, the relevant Dean of the University must discuss the situation with the Faculty Senate. This discussion will lead to a decision to either deal with the issue or initiate the student discipline process.
  6. The tutor will inform the student of their rights to appeal the decision as in the Student’s Regulations.

A18 Copyright (TBD)

Financial Policies

F1 Statement of Accounting policies (TBD)

F2 Purchasing of goods and services (TBD)

F3 Asset disposal (TBD)

F4 Personal purchases (TBD)

F5 Capital Expenditure

A policy on capital expenditure is being developed because there is a desire to ensure that all capital requests and approvals follow a process that will lead to maximizing the investment potential here at ‘Atenisi and are approved within a long term strategic plan, a sustainable protocol, the financial funding availability and the financial viability.

F5.1 Capital expenditure relates to all assets whose life has a span greater than one year and a value greater than $300 or is an item of any value if it is an electrical good, piece of furniture, or computer hardware or software.

F5.2 All capital expenditure requests and approval will follow the procedural processes as set out below. In due course, a committee may be required to be set up to carry overall responsibilities but in the meantime the two Financial Controllers will be responsible for:

F5.3 All requests to spend must first conform to the formal procurement process which are:

F6 Bad Debts (TBD)

F7 Monthly Budget Variance reporting (TBD)

F8 Sensitive expenditure (TBD)

F9 Travel and reimbursement of expenses (TBD)

F10 Room hiring and charging (TBD)

F11 Tender Process (TBD)

F12 Cash Handling

The purpose of this policy is to provide cash handling controls in the recording, administering and securing of cash receipts and transfer of cash to the treasurer in order to minimise risk of cash losses.

The policy applies to internal campus receipts of cash.

F12.1 The only approved points of cash collection are:

  1. The outdoor café vending groceries and refreshments.
  2. The administrative secretary in the institute office.

F12.2 All cash will be receipted immediately on acceptance using a manual receipt book with the top copy of the receipt to be given to the payer. The cash is then to be placed in a cashbox that must be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.

F12.3 All cash to be secured at all times. Cash must be transferred to the treasurer on a daily basis for banking. A transfer form for the internal cash is then signed by the treasurer.

F12.4 The treasurer must reconcile the cash with the receipt book. The treasurer must then take the cash and bank it in the nominated account.

F12.5 Once the instituteʻs outdoor cafe is operational, all cash will be transferred to the administrative secretary on a daily basis using the same procedure as noted above under F12.3 and F12.4.

F12.6 The following transactions are not permitted under any circumstances:

Generic Management

G1 Audit

‘Atenisi is committed to a viable and sustainable organisation delivering high quality and relevant tertiary education and training outcomes meeting the needs of students, industry and community. This goal is critically supported by internal audit. The policy applies to internal audits deemed appropriate to ensure continued quality improvement related to our Quality Management System.

G1.1 The following are significant definitions for this policy:

G1.2 ‘Atenisi will ensure to have sound accounting practices in place and to have the accounts audited by approved auditors on an annual basis.

G1.3 Internal audit will be used to achieve sound managerial review including assurance that procedures are in place and operating effectively.

G1.4 The internal audit is overseen by the treasurer, who will ensure that:

  1. appropriate financial reporting systems are in place;
  2. staff performing the internal audit function have access to necessary information and resources;
  3. the activities of the internal function are conducted and managed;
  4. Internal audit outcomes and issues are reported to Board of Directors;

G2 Privacy (TBD)

G3 Business Continuity Planning (TBD)

G4 Environment Policy (TBD)

G5 Opening of Mail (TBD)

G6 Drugs and Alcohol use on Campus (TBD)

G7 Fraud (TBD)

G8 Risk management

G8.1 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that risk management forms part of ‘Atenisi's internal control and governance arrangements. Risk management is the culture, processes and structures that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects within ‘Atenisi’s environment.

G8.2 Risk is inherent in all academic, administrative and business activities. Every member of the ʻAtenisi community continually manages risk. Adoption of a strategic and formal approach to risk management improves decision-making, whilst enhancing outcomes and accountability

G8.3 The aim of this policy is not to eliminate risk, but rather to manage it to maximise opportunity and minimise adversity. Risk management also provides a system for the setting of priorities when there are competing demands on limited resources.

G8.4 ʻAtenisi recognizes here will be a need to systematically manage and regularly review its risk profile at strategic, operational and project levels. We will develop a risk management and compliance framework that determines the process and identifies tools for realising this objective.

G8.5 A strategic register will be developed and is to be reviewed and reported on at least twice per year to the Board of Directors.

G8.6 Our systematic approach to risk management in the course of our academic, administrative and other business activities will require ʻAtenisi to

G8.7 All employees of ‘Atenisi is responsible for the effective management of risk, including the identification of potential risks. Management is responsible for the development of risk mitigation plans and the implementation of risk reduction strategies.

G9 Gifts (TBC)


L1 Collection Development (TBD)

L2 Services and Circulation (TBD)


S1 Concerns and Complaints

The purpose of this policy is to receive, acknowledge, register and act upon student concerns and complaints. It is to facilitate a speedy resolution of student concerns and complaints to the satisfaction of all parties.

ʻAtenisi strives to maintain an environment in which tolerance, confidentiality, courtesy and mutual respect is fostered. Obtaining feedback can be used to continually improve our quality of education and level of service. We also focus on providing students with a safe, healthy and effective resources and facilities.

The policy covers student concerns and complaints about ʻAtenisi services in relation to academic policy and procedures, programme content, programme delivery, staff and student conduct, facilities and equipment-provision, maintenance and access and administrative and learning support. (Note: This policy does not cover complaints concerning harassment or academic appeals; these are covered under separate policies.)

ʻAtenisi treats student complaints seriously and is committed to dealing with them fairly and promptly. Our goal is to resolve complaints quickly and appropriately. Complaints will be handled according to a clearly defined set of procedures as seen below. Malicious complaints will be addressed through the Student Discipline process.


S1.1 This policy will be communicated to staff through the QMS.

S1.2 Students are initially advised of the complaints process and to contact the Dean through the enrollment process.

S1.3 The complainant should be initially encouraged to clearly define the problem. He or she may enlist help or support from friends, family, another student, Associated Students, or faculty.

S1.4 The complainant or his/her support person may talk informally with the staff member concerned to reach resolution.

S1.5 If the staff member has not been able to resolve the complaint, the complainant or his/her support person may address the staff memberʻs supervisor (see ORGANISATION CHART above).

S1.6 Failing resolution, the complainant should be invited to make a formal complaint in writing to the dean.

S1.7 All written complaints must be acknowledged in writing within five working days, including an estimated timeframe for response to the complaint.

S1.8 A complaint about a member of the ʻAtenisi community shall be addressed to that member and the procedure in policy HR11 will be employed.

S1.9 All written complaints will be copied (if not made directly) to the dean who will fulfill the role of Complaint Officer. He is to keep a register of all complaints and their resolution.

S1.10 Should a complaint not be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he or she shall have the right to appeal to the Faculty Senate and, if granted audience, the Board of Directors.

S2 Student conduct and discipline

The purpose of this policy is to give effect to the Student Regulations and to ensure all students know the standards of behaviour expected at ʻAtenisi. The policy applies to both academic students and performing arts pupils.

S2.1 Students are to respect the rights of other students and staff as well as ʻAtenisiʻs environment and property.

S2.2 Students will adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Regulations and observe directives pertaining to conduct during an academic course.

S2.3 ʻAtenisi proscribes student behaviour that is potentially unsafe, illegal or detrimental to the learning of others or the ability of staff members to perform their duties. All allegations will be dealt with in a prompt, equitable, considerate and consistent manner.

S2.4 Principles of promptness, justice, impartiality, consistency are applied by the institution in the event of a breach or suspected breach of the Student Code of Conduct.

S2.5 A Student Disciplinary Committee will hear and adjudicate allegations of serious student misconduct.

S2.6 A student subject to disciplinary action may lodge appeal with the dean and, if granted audience, the Faculty Senate.

S3 Bullying Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

S4 International student internships

Human Resources

HR1 Employee recruitment and selection

It is ʻAtenisiʻs intention to fill vacancies as they occur, with the most qualified applicants available and to retain a reserve of skilled and competent employees. The institute complies with all relevant employment legislation and ongoing employment agreements.

HR1.1 A Human Resource team consisting of the dean and treasurer shall be responsible for the recruitment of both academic and non-academic staff.

HR1.2 This team will be responsible for providing a signed request to recruit, up to date job description and a worded advertisement to the Board of Directors to gain approval to recruit for the job. Thereafter, this team is responsible for:

HR2 Performance Development

‘Atenisi is committed to ongoing development of its employees and seeks to provide an environment and the resources to allow employees to develop within our organisation. All permanent academic staff members will have a teaching evaluation carried out at least once a year. A copy of this evaluation will be given to the staff member concerned and copied to the Dean and Academic committee. The evaluation is then to be discussed for development purposes with the staff member concerned.

Entitlement to professional development leave and expenses are outlined in the staff member’s individual employment agreement. Accordingly, this policy does not restrict any entitlement contained in that employment contract.

Professional development needs will be determined for all new permanent staff in their first month of employment in their performance planning session. Thereafter, professional development is planned on an annual basis for individuals through the performance development system and listed on individual performance review forms.

The appropriate activities for professional development will be authorized by the Dean after consideration of the appropriateness of the activity, budgetary constraints.

The procedure for this type of leave is as follows:

  1. Leave will be granted at the Dean’s discretion;
  2. A maximum of one continuous week’s leave as contemplated by the attached employment agreement;
  3. Timing of the leave will be discussed by the Dean and the applicant but at no time will leave be granted outside the one week during the rest period between the two semesters.
  4. All leave must be appropriated recorded on leave forms.
  5. Leave can be taken for course/conference participation, online courses, preparing for exams and sitting exams, completing course assignments, visits to relevant institutes.
  6. All applications for leave that relates to overseas travel and/or attendance at overseas conferences must receive the written approval of the dean;
  7. Expenses will be discussed and agreed upon before any activities occur.

HR3 Remuneration

HR4 Leave management

HR5 Employee exit

HR6 Equal Employment Opportunities

HR7 Health and Safety

ʻAtenisi's Board of Directors is committed to meeting its obligations and will take continuous care to provide a safe environment for all students, employees, contractors and visitors. Effective health and safety management is only achieved under firm leadership. To that end, ʻAtenisi will:

We have an expectation that every person who is affiliated with the institute will accept personal responsibility for ensuring the safety and well being of themselves and those that are involved in or affected by our activities. However, the institute director is responsible for reporting to the Board of Directors:

As the employer of all staff ‘Atenisi will:

HR7.1 meet all obligations under relevant and applicable legislation and regulations, standards etc;

HR7.2 Ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to health and safety;

HR7.3 Maintain an effective program to ensure that all workplace hazards are systematically identified and appropriate measures introduced to control these hazards;

HR7.4 Require the accurate and timely reporting and recording of all accidents and incidents;

HR7.5 Provide support, treatment and rehabilitation, procedures and plans as required to ensure a safe, early and sustainable return to work for injured employees

HR7.6 Actively encourage the early reporting of any pain or discomfort;

HR7.7 Establish a SICK BAY with provisions for minor health issues such as headaches, toothaches and minor pain and discomfort;

HR7.8 Source the services of a health clinician if required and to organize and transport for emergency attention to hospital.

HR7.9 Ensure the removal of rubbish and waste from the grounds of the institute.

HR7.10 Encourage a mentality for keeping ‘Atenisi clean and ensuring its natural environment is clean for all its occupants including the life in the ponds on campus.

HR8 Complaint Resolution

HR9 Disciplinary Policy and Procedure

HR10 Contractors

HR11 Employee Recognition

HR12 Return to Work – rehabilitation

HR13 Resolving employment personal grievances

HR14 Continuing Professional Development

HR15 Academic Workload

HR16 Conflict of Interest

The purpose of this policy is to define a range of circumstances that may constitute conflicts of interest along with procedures for identifying and managing these to protect staff and to ensure compliance with the natural rules of justice and good practice guidelines adopting the following principles:

The scope of this policy is that it will apply to all staff or employees of ‘Atenisi.

A conflict of interest will arise in any situation when a person has a financial interest, a private or personal interest or business interest sufficient to influence or appear to influence the impartial exercise of their official duties or professional judgement. Hence:

HR16.1 Each employee must declare existing, actual and potential conflicts of interests.

HR16.2 The existence of a conflict of interest may not necessarily mean the declarant has violated professional ethics or that the interests of the institute have been compromised.

HR16.3 Employees must conduct themselves at all times under the following principles, ensuring

  1. that self-interest or personal factors do not influence their decision making;
  2. that every precaution is taken to avoid a situation where a conflict of interest, or any perception of a conflict of interest could arise in carrying out their duties.
  3. that financial, family, personal or business relationships or interests do not actually, nor appear to, unfairly advantage or disadvantage other employees or other individuals.

HR16.4 In the event that an employee considers a conflict arising, he/she must inform the Dean as soon as practicable who is then responsible for taking appropriate steps to address the situation.

HR16.5 Employees are not to be involved in the appointment process of people with whom they have a close personal or familial relationship. Employees must ensure that they declare prior relationships for decisions that they be involved in.

HR16.6 Any gift that might attract the suspicion of improper motive or which obligates the individual is not to be accepted. In any event all gifts offered (received or not) must be declared in the gift register (see Gift policy).

HR16.7 All Directors of the Board, Heads of Department including the Dean must disclose annually in the INTERESTS REGISTER, any and all significant interests they may have in organizations. Disclosure provides transparency and protects those concerned from allegations of duplicity and enables the avoidance of being unwittingly placed in situations that may lead to a conflict of interests.

HR16.8 All Directors of the Board, Heads of Department including the Dean are responsible for applying this policy and for ensuring employees adhere to it and complete the declaration of employee conflict of interest form.

Marketing Policies

M1 Advertising, publications and student recruitment

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistency in the planning format and implementation of all advertisements, publication, promotional material used in recruitment activities for ‘Atenisi. This policy applies to all staff involved in developing of advertisements, publications and promotional used in domestic and international recruitment of students.

M1.1 Educational programs, services and benefits offered by ‘Atenisi shall be the primary emphasis of all recruitment advertising, publications, promotional material for ‘Atenisi.

M1.2 Secondary promotional material such as documents inviting external financial investment, sponsorship, scholarships shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee in consultation with the Board of Directors.

M1.3 All statements and representations made are to be clear, factual, legally accurate and current with factual supporting information available.

M1.4 Advertising and promotional material used for domestic and international student recruitment shall:

M1.5 All domestic and international recruitment advertising and promotional material will use the ‘Atenisi website as the central contact/inquiry point.

M1.6 Advertising and promotional material used for recruitment of partnership programs shall adhere to agreed marketing protocols.

Evaluation & Review

Commencing October 2015, and bi-annually therefrom, the QMS shall be revised, if necessary, according to the following protocol: