Fostering Unity and Vision: Institute of Education’s Team Gathers for 2024 Planning Workshop in Tonga


As the year draws to a close, the Institute of Education (IoE), The University of the South Pacific recently hosted their 2024 planning workshop in the Kingdom of Tonga, bringing together the entire team from Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Samoa. This marked a significant milestone for the IoE, with the School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE) Acting Head of School, Dr Matthew Hayward participating for the first time in the planning process held in Tonga last week.

One of the key highlights of the workshop was the active participation of Dr Hayward, marking the first time the head of the school played a direct role in the planning session.

Dr Hayward expressed enthusiasm about being part of the planning process in Tonga, stating, “I wanted to spend the week here to really listen and learn, and to understand the work you do, looking at the yearly reflections and looking ahead to a new chapter of close collaboration between IoE and SPACE”.

Throughout the workshop, the team engaged in lively discussions where team members shared insights, challenges, and success stories from their respective units. 

The diverse perspectives led to robust discussions, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility for the IoE’s mission. 


Workgroup sessions delved into the intricacies of regional educational policies, sharing best practices, and fostering cross-cultural understanding among team members.

The outcomes of the workshop included the formulation of a comprehensive action plan for the upcoming year, emphasising a holistic approach to education that integrates local cultures, global perspectives, and data-driven educational tools.


Beyond the meeting rooms, the workshop also provided a platform for cultural exchange among team members. Shared meals, talanoa, and local excursions created an atmosphere of camaraderie, reinforcing the bonds that unite the IoE team across the region in the true Pasifiki spirit.

The workshop reached completion with a festive Christmas dinner, where the IoE team came together to celebrate not only the accomplishments of the year but also the spirit of the season. 

The IoE’s decision to hold the 2024 planning workshop in Tonga and include the head of the school in the process sends a powerful message about the institute’s commitment to inclusivity and shared leadership. As the team returns to their respective countries, they carry with them not only a strategic roadmap for the future but also a strengthened sense of unity and purpose.



School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE) Acting Head of School, Dr Matthew Hayward at the IoE 2024 planning at USP, Tonga Campus.


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