News Release

BYU-Hawaii Delegation Meets with Government, Business Leaders in French Polynesia

Brigham Young University-Hawaii hopes to significantly increase the number of South Pacific Island students attending the institution over the next several years and recruiting in French Polynesia is an important part of that plan.

In an effort to accomplish that goal, T. James Faustino, BYU-H Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, made a stop in the territory this week to visit government and business leaders as well as prospective students in Papeete, Taravao, and Bora Bora. 

Faustino was accompanied by William T. Numanga, from the BYU-H Alumni and Career Services, and J.A. Heitiare Panee, the Tahitian Island Manager for the Polynesian Cultural Centre (PCC).

The group met Wednesday afternoon with Nicole Sanquer Fareata, the French Polynesian Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.


“We have a special mission to serve all the people of the Pacific,” Faustino told Fareata during their meeting.

BYU-H hopes to nearly double the percentage of international students at its campus over the next three years. Preparations include the renovation and remodelling of student dormitories and other construction projects on campus, he explained.

“It will be the quickest growth curve ever experienced by BYU-H,” he said.

According to university statistics, 2,871 students currently attend BYU-H, 35 of which are from French Polynesia.

Members of the BYU-H delegation discussed with Fareata the Pacific Area Student Scholar Program (PASS), which covers tuition, room and board, and textbook expenses for Pacific Islanders who maintain a minimum 3.4 GPA each year.

The group also described the I-Work program, a cooperative agreement with the Polynesian Cultural Center to help students reduce the cost of attending the university. Under the program, students can earn up to $44,000 US in scholarship funds while working part-time at the PPC.

According to the BYU-H website ( the I-Work program is “built on the principle of self-reliance and its goal is to provide the necessary financial assistance to worthy members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so they can return home to their countries and regions debt-free and qualified to provide leadership roles in an international church, in civic and social affiliations, and within their families.”

During the meeting, Fareata extended an invitation to BYU-H to participate in an annual university recruitment forum for graduating high school students in French Polynesia. She said the December gathering is normally attended by as many as 2,000 students.

BYU-H and the PCC are both owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The BYU-H campus and the adjacent PCC, are located in Laei, Hawaii. The PCC is widely regarded as one of the top tourist attractions in Hawaii.

The PCC opened its doors in 1963. A non-profit organization, 100 percent of its revenue goes to daily operations and to support the education of student employees from BYU-H. The centre is an interactive celebration that showcases the people, culture, and crafts of Polynesia.

The recruiting trip also included a three devotionals at local LDS chapels.

“At BYU-H, we don’t just educate you we prepare you to come home and work and to build the kingdom,” Faustino told a group of more than 100 parents and prospective students who attended a Sunday evening devotional in Papeete.

Also attending the Papeete devotional was Elder Benjamin T. Sinjoux, Area Seventy for the Church.

Elder Sinjoux emphasised the importance of obtaining all the education you can obtain and spoke highly of BYU-Hawaii as a place to do that.

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