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September 10, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Inequity Deported

SOME UNIS MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

Auckland University has recently become the first institution of higher learning in New Zealand to broaden its equity policies to include refugees. The decision has been described as “one that sets a standard for all tertiary education institutions to follow” by Pete Hodkinson, President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations.

Refugee Services New Zealand says the country settles an average of 750 refugees per year, but they are spread geographically in proportion to population concentrations. Consequently, a high number of refugees live in Auckland.

Students with a refugee background have “multiple issues to overcome” when they seek education, said Hodkinson.

“Not only are they new to New Zealand, they are also coming to terms with the often unspeakable hardships of being dislocated from their home countries.”

Victoria University’s Equity Policy does not list refugees as an equity group, nor does it provide for many of the other groups listed Auckland University’s policy. These include students from non-English speaking backgrounds and rural areas, mature-age students, older employees, male students in Education and Nursing, as well as lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex staff and students.

NZUSA says the breadth of Auckland’s Equity Policy should be reflected in the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy.

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