Maori participation in tertiary education decreases

by / March 26, 2007

Vic bucks nationwide trend, reason unknown

Vic is bucking a trend of a decline in nationwide enrolments of Maori students in tertiary education, with positive enrolment statistics for the last two years.

Nationwide, Ministry of Education statistics show a decreasing participation rate of Maori students enrolling in tertiary study, down 3.4% overall from 2004. Compared with other ethnicities, Maori are still participating at a higher proportion per capita.

Despite a nationwide drop, Victoria has seen a 7.4% increase in the number of Maori students between 2005 and 2006, up from 1624 to 1744 students.

The Association of University Staff (AUS) have called the overall negative statistics “concerning”, and come as “a result of secondary school failing Maori”.

Ngai Tauira Tumuaki Tuarua (Vice-President) Matt Gifford told Salient that the decline is “sad and upsetting”, but that creating a supportive environment where Maori students are encour aged to continue their studies to complete their course is also an important issue to address.

“It’s certainly very sad, and [it’s] of paramount importance to any organization that works for the academic success of Maori students to try and increase the participation,” says Gifford.

He states the need “to help students sustain their studies for the duration of their course of study, because it’s one thing to get them into tertiary study but its another to be able to foster a learning environment in which they can succeed.”

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