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Up Education

Aspiring MP hopes to make change for women

23 May 2018

Having graduated from the University of Auckland, Teri Fong is now on her way to fulfilling her political and humanitarian ambitions.


What made you choose a pathways course in New Zealand?

I had always wanted to move to Auckland for tertiary studies as we didn’t have the educational and employment opportunities I wanted in Fiji.

I wanted to get into the University of Auckland and ACG came up as a viable option. The website was comprehensive, customer service was top notch and I was aware of ACG’s outstanding track record and massive network and support base, so I opted to go with ACG.

How has ACG Pathways helped you on your journey?

The staff were incredible. The teaching was relevant and easy to follow, which made my transition to university much easier. In the last four years, I have kept in touch with the staff at Pathways – their pastoral care is amazing and the advice they have provided me over the years even landed me a position with NZMA.

What was the highlight of your course?

Being presented with awards in Geography and EAP (English) and being asked to speak on behalf of students at our graduation at Crowne Plaza. I have always felt appreciated and acknowledged for the work I put in.

What is your favourite thing about New Zealand?

I have started a tradition of going to Rotorua each year for my birthday and appreciate the rich culture it has to offer.

Why did you choose your degree?

I was 16 when I realised my passion for community development through intersectional feminism working with the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.

It excited, inspired, fascinated, angered and moved me. I knew it would allow me to work in fields like NGOs, foreign affairs, feminist organisations, and the political and educational sectors in New Zealand and abroad.

What did you most enjoy about your degree?

I love that I have graduated with a BA, which has prepared me to contribute to our contemporary global world.

The subjects I have taken span multiple disciplines: developing an understanding of the complexities of social and cultural constructions of gender, race, and class and how these play a role in democracy, human rights and peace building.

What are you up to now?  

I am currently working for New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA) as a Student Recruitment and Course Advisor, so I’m the first point of contact for students looking to get into first time study.

What are your career aspirations?

Eventually, I would like to expand my portfolio to work in a feminist organisation, focusing on the development and care of migrant and refugee women.

Further down the track, I aspire to work in politics and hope to become the first Chinese Fijian female Member of Parliament.

What has been a highlight for you in New Zealand?

In 2015, I was invited to be a guest speaker to share my stories and struggles of being a young, Asian migrant woman from the Pacific at the Auckland Women’s Centre 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner. I am proud of having had a platform to inspire the current and next generation of feminists.

Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?

In a humanitarian role where I can make a positive change in people’s lives, paving the way for future migrant women to make a difference in their own communities.

What advice would give other students considering pathways?

If you are looking to get into the best universities in New Zealand to study what you are passionate about, ACG Pathways is a great way. I have never studied at a campus that has provided so much support, attention, care, and opportunity. Without ACG, I would not be where I am today.


Teri, from Fiji, completed the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies delivered by ACG Pathways