Building a new knowledge base in the Pacific

14 May 2019

Masters’ graduate Riby Tupiti taking a lot of learning from both inside and outside the classroom back home to the Solomon Islands.

She has just graduated with a Masters in Management Studies majoring in Human Resources. Riby describes her upbringing in the Solomon Islands as ‘very average’.  Her father was a government printer, her mother a housewife, and she has two brothers and three sisters. “I was brought up by my dad saying, if you want to have things better than we did, then education was the key to improving your life.”

Riby has been studying at Waikato since 2009, and during that time she has become a very respected elder in the Hamilton Solomon Island Community. She came to Hamilton with three children and had her fourth while studying. Everyone asks her how she juggled her Masters and four kids, and she claims it is not even about being meticulously organized.  Riby says she just knuckled down and did the work. “I am an NZ Scholar student, so it gave me added incentive to achieve, because either you pass or you go home.”

With  a Masters in Management Studies majoring in Human Resources, Riby has secured a job as the HR Director at the Solomon Islands National University. At the moment she is focused on gaining more experienced in what is the most senior role she has had.  The National University is relatively new, it became a university in 2013. It is one of the biggest education providers for the country, so Riby says it is about building the place up, to educate her people. “Only the top students in the country will get a scholarship to go to New Zealand or Australia, the rest will stay in the Solomons. We didn’t have a university, but now having our own we can better educate our people. So my role in Hr is making sure we have the right people, the right talent, to teach quality education. It’s about contributing to that.”

Riby has a bit of advice for other NZ Scholars. She says the Solomon Islands National University doesn’t yet have the kind of student services and support offered at Waikato, like the library resources and the student learning centre, so people need to take advantage of them. But they also need to make the most out of life outside the classroom. “Getting out there, meeting people and learning about other cultures. It is about seeing the country, and listening to the Prime Minister talking about issues. There are a whole lot of things you can learn and take back to the Solomons from places like New zealand. It broadens your knowledge and your world view.”

Latest stories

Related stories

Extraordinary Things to take the stage

Next week's event will celebrate student talent and honour the life and legacy of Sir…

Jessica Pasisi

Research aims to shed light on health and wellbeing of Niuean people

Waikato University PhD student, Jessica Pasisi, is seeking to better understand the mental health and…

Waikato students can “breathe easy” thanks to new scholarship

A new scholarship is available to University of Waikato students thanks to the generosity of…

Distinguished Alumni Awards 2019

Distinguished Alumni Honoured

Three exceptional alumni were honoured at the Distinguished Alumni Awards last Friday.

MBA students visit South America

This year's MBA International Study Tour is heading to Chile to investigate opportunities for New…


Uni campus hosts STEM Festival in Tauranga

As a main sponsor of the country's first world-class STEM Festival (STEMFest) event, the University…

Brian Sweeney (Image credit: Helen Klisser)

University of Waikato award recognises international PR specialist

The man who co-founded international strategy and PR agency SweeneyVesty will be returning to New…

Vittoria Shortt

Where accounting and finance at the University of Waikato can take you

Vittoria Shortt is the CEO of ASB, charged with leading the bank into the future…

Andrew Smith

Prolife CEO acknowledged by University of Waikato

A man who completed his PhD in physics at Oxford University and then built an…

Emma Walker and Thomas Archbold

University students receive hefty scholarship to study at Cambridge

Two University of Waikato students have landed a substantial scholarship that has opened the door…

Wayne Smith DAA

University of Waikato Award for rugby “professor”

The hard work of former All Black and All Black coach Wayne Smith CNZM is…

Waikato scientists ranked as some of most-influential in the world

23 Waikato scientists appear in a new international database of the 100,000 most influential scientists…