Pacific Universities’ Leadership during the COVID-19 Pandemic- a Case Study of Fiji and New Zealand

  •  Prashneel Ravisan Goundar    
  •  Sherita Sharma    


The global education system came under scrutiny in 2020 due to the unexpected pandemic. COVID-19 forced higher education institutions everywhere to rethink the way to deliver classes or continue offering their services due to travel restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing policies. This caused major disruptions in carrying out normal teaching and learning. The intervention of university leadership in maintaining decorum during the pandemic entailed making pivotal decisions within a short period of time. The aim of this paper is to highlight various statements made by a group of universities from Fiji and New Zealand to present their position, and policies during the global pandemic. This article discusses how university leaders in the South Pacific with a case study of Fiji and New Zealand have responded to the pandemic. It discusses the statements and media releases of university leaders in Fiji (a developing nation) and New Zealand (a developed nation), particularly their responses and comments on the mode of teaching, international travel, social distancing, financial impact, and research. These focus areas need to be priority for university leaders in making crucial decisions in operating higher education institutions during unexpected events such as the pandemic.

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