Social Capital is critical to perseverance at university during COVID-19: Pasifika students in Fiji, New Zealand and Solomon Islands universities.
Keywords:Social capital, social trust, social network, social norms.
This study aims to investigate the social capital of a group of Pasifika university students in Fiji, New Zealand and Solomon Islands universities during COVID-19, and the contribution it may have on the perseverance of these participants in their studies. Social capital, which is interested in building relationships and networks to deal with collective issues in the present and future, provided the framework to analyse work done by Dorovolomo, Rodie, Fito’o and Rafiq on Solomon Islands students and on Laulaupea’alu’s study of Pasifika students in New Zealand. Tokstori was utilised to collect data from Solomon Islands students, while the talanoa was used in the New Zealand study. It was found that communication with fellow students often via digital communication, interaction with staff that are supportive, getting in touch with the family, and being able to follow protective practices as a consequence of COVID-19 helped in their success as students. Being able to tap the social resources within these social spaces helped build perseverance, resilience and strong social capital. This has implications for individuals, student communities, and institutions to consciously strengthen social networks among students during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Copyright (c) 2022 Jeremy Dorovolomo, Siuta Laulaupea'alu, Loriza Zinnie Rafiq, Patricia Rodie, Billy Fito'o
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