Gathering Pandanus Leaves

Colonization, Internationalization and the Pacific


  • Sereana Naepi
  • Marcia Leenen-Young



Pacific, higher education, colonization, internationalization


It has long been established that education is both a colonial and imperial tool that enables colonizing nations to establish themselves in foreign territories. This paper explores New Zealand’s historical and contemporary role in the Pacific and how      the country has leveraged higher education to both strengthen and continue its ongoing colonial and imperial projects. Utilizing current understandings of critical internationalization this paper will examine the lengths that New Zealand has gone to in order to protect its international standing as a gateway to the Pacific. 

Author Biographies

Sereana Naepi

SEREANA NAEPI, PhD, is a lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Auckland. Her major research interests lie in the area of higher education, Pacific peoples, equity and knowledge construction. ORCID: 0000-0002-6067-9014 Email:

Marcia Leenen-Young

MARCIA LEENEN-YOUNG, PhD, is a lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland. Her major research interests lie in the area of Pacific history, decolonization, and Pacific pedagogies. ORCHID: 0000-0002-3630-5346 Email:


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How to Cite

Naepi, S., & Leenen-Young, M. (2021). Gathering Pandanus Leaves: Colonization, Internationalization and the Pacific. Journal of International Students, 11(S1), 15–31.