Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Benefits of university education for Māori and Pacific

Wednesday 5 July 2017

New evidence of personal and social benefits of university education for Māori and Pacific Peoples

Latest research from the National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR) suggests that graduating from university may not only change the individual lives of Māori and Pacific Peoples, but also positively impact on their families, communities and society in general.

The study found that Māori and Pacific Island graduates have similar rates of employment, similar incomes, and similar levels of voting to other New Zealand university graduates.

The findings are from the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand (GLSNZ), an ongoing project that, over a 10-year period, will investigate the employment, health and social outcomes of more than 8700 graduates from all eight New Zealand universities.

Participants provided information in their final year of university study in 2011, and again in 2014 at two years post-graduation.
The research, published in the international journal Higher Education Research and Development, also found that Māori and Pacific Island university graduates are more likely to report helping friends, family and acquaintances at two years post-graduation compared to their peers.

Study lead author and NCLR Co-Director Dr Reremoana (Moana) Theodore says the findings suggest that boosting higher education success for Māori and Pacific Island students may reduce ethnic inequalities in labour market outcomes in New Zealand.

“This also may result in substantial social benefits for graduates’ families and communities. Māori and Pacific Island students are under-represented within universities and our findings underscore the importance of equity in higher education for New Zealand’s social and economic development,” Dr Theodore says.

“The benefits of having a university education appear to go beyond the graduates and those people around them”, co-author Dr Mele Taumoepeau, says. “Two years after completing their degrees, Māori and Pacific Island university graduates were more likely to participate in community groups such as charitable organisations or political groups, and just as likely to vote as other New Zealand graduates.”

Despite the many benefits of having a university education, the researchers found that Māori and Pacific Island graduates were more likely to take out student loans, had more financial commitments, and reported worse financial strain (e.g., not having enough money to pay for accommodation) when compared to other New Zealand graduates, especially during their final year of study.

There were fewer financial differences between groups at two years post-graduation, although some differences remained including Pacific Island graduates reporting lower levels of assets.

The researchers found that Māori and Pacific Island graduates were as likely to be enrolled in further tertiary study at two years post-graduation as were other New Zealand graduates. Of those not enrolled in further study, however, Māori and Pacific Island graduates were more likely to want to pursue further education. Graduates described a number of reasons for not enrolling including financial reasons.

Dr Theodore says there is a need to promote the benefits of gaining a university qualification to Māori and Pacific Island students and their families and reduce the barriers to these students attaining at the highest levels.

This research was supported by Universities New Zealand, the Tertiary Education Commission, Ministry for Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Education. Reremoana Theodore was supported by a Health Research Council Erihapeti Rehu-Murchie fellowship [grant number 13/579].


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

Howard Davis: The Kuijken String Quartet

Chamber Music New Zealand has scored another coup with the Kuijken String Quartet's current tour of New Zealand. As the co-founder of both La Petite Bande in 1972 and the Kuijken String Quartet in 1986, Sigiswald Kuijken is internationally recognized ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland