History of TNU

The Ministry of Education and Training undertook a Scoping Study in 2020 to gauge the general public’s views on establishing a national university. The study reviews literature through desktop research, and extensive consultations through focus groups and interviews. The outcomes were documented in the Scoping Study Final Report which was submitted to the Government of Tonga’s Cabinet for consideration. The Report was approved – see CD#1046 2nd Oct 2020, with 23 recommendations, one of which was a very strong show of public support to establish a national university.

The Ministry then proceeds to develop a University Act, this was passed by the Parliament of Tonga in August 2021, with the Royal Assent being obtained in May 2022.  The University Act (2021) provides the name of the University as the Tonga National University (TNU). The Chancellor and Head of the University is His Majesty the King of Tonga, Tupou VI.

The University shall offer academic, technical and vocational programs and qualifications from Certificate to Post-Doctorate level.

All the government’s 6 higher educational institutions are to be merged into the Tonga National University for the purposes of this Act. These institutions are the: Tonga Institute of Education (TIOE); Tonga Institute for Higher Education (TIHE); Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (TIST); Tonga Maritime Polytechnic Institute (TMPI); Queen Salote Institute of Nursing and Allied Health (QSINAH) and the Tonga Police College (TPC).