A Tongan graduate at the AIS St Helens said courses from the Auckland institute taught at Tonga Institute of Higher Education (TIHE) helped ease the financial difficulties his parents faced in paying for his studies.
Setefano Leilua Fūnaki was one of dozen Tongan graduates who graduated from AIS yesterday in a ceremony at the Bruce Mason Centre at Takapuna.
Fūnaki was awarded with a Bachelor of Information Technology.
He said his parents, Nasa and Seiloni of Tofoa, had paid more than NZ$10,000 a year for his studies in New Zealand but it was cheaper in Tonga when they paid for his diploma programme.
After completing his diploma in Tonga on Information Technology he was enrolled with the AIS to study for his BA.
He said students from Tonga who came to AIS can look for works while they were studying.
“This also helps cover our expenses on accommodation, transport, food and school materials”, he said.
According to AIS, it has supported 213 Tongan graduates in a range of fields including Business, IT, Tourism and Hospitality.
This year 55 Tongan students studying towards various qualifications at AIS.
“Looking forward, AIS is focused on developing further relationships in Tonga to allow more students the pathway through to AIS programmes”, it says.