Hard work pays off - twice

23 June 2017

A high achiever: Abiteta Teitibwebwe, a Pacific Scholarship winner for the second time.

Political Science student Abiteta Teitibwebwe, known as Bibi, has been awarded a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship for a second time.

Bibi grew up in Kiribati, did her schooling at the main government high school, King George V & Elaine Bernachi School, before coming to the University of Waikato.

She's in the second year of her BA majoring in Political Science, and also won the same scholarship during her first year.  The $1500 scholarship for high achievement is awarded through New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and recipients are expected to upskill and take their knowledge back to their country of origin.

Bibi says she’s always been interested in global politics and enjoys her political science papers.

“They’ve given me insight into how the real world of power politics operates. I’ve learnt the reasons why different governments and states behave the way they do, and how their interactions, which can seem unimportant, are essentially serious.”

When she finishes her BA, Bibi would like to work for the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Ministry in Kiribati, but she’s also keen to continue her university education so hasn’t ruled out further study.

One of Bibi’s lecturers, Professor Dan Zirker says Bibi has distinguished herself as a truly disciplined, well read and focused student so is deserving of the Pacific scholarship for a second time. "Abiteta was a student of mine in two papers last year, 'The US and the World' and 'Political Systems around the World'. She performed magnificently in both papers, receiving A+ in both. This year she’s enrolled in my 'Latin American Politics' paper and again is demonstrating her advanced scholarship and high intelligence.  She is a wonderful student and a real credit to our programme.”