Opportunities in Tonga
The majority of post-secondary education in Tonga is conducted overseas, however, there exist a number of facilities in Tonga. These include nursing and medical training and agricultural schools, the University of the South Pacific (USP), and some private institutions. These higher education centres include the ‘Atenisi Institute, which focuses on science and humanities, and the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology.
USP’s Tonga campus is located at ‘Atele, about seven kilometres from Nuku’alofa. The campus also has centres in Vava’u and Ha’apai. Health-related courses can be undertaken there in person or via distance, with lecture recordings available from USP campuses across the Pacific.
Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities
Due to its isolation, distance learning is an ideal way for health care professionals in Tonga to further their professional development. An ideal way to do this is through POLHN, which offers health-related courses targeted at professionals in the South Pacific. These can be undertaken online, using a CD or in person at a POLHN Learning Centre. There are three of these located in Tonga: at the School of Nursing, Vava’u Hospital, and at Vaiola Hospital. For more information on POLHN in Tonga, contact Ms Simaima Filiai (email here).
Another option for furthering education is through the Australia Awards. Funded by the Australian Government, this program offers tertiary-level scholarships for Tongan students, particularly in the field of education, health, and public sector management. These fund students to study at universities in Australia. Typically, around 20 of these are offered to Tongan students every year. For more information, visit the Australia Awards website.